Ideas and suggestions to help family caregivers have a stress-free, supported Christmas that helps all members of the family make lovely memories.
As Christmas quickly comes around, now is the time to prepare for Christmas so that as one of the 7 million family caregivers in the UK, you have everything in place to have a wonderful Christmas with your whole family.
To help you get that plan in place, here are our top tips for preparing for Christmas as a family caregiver:
Get Care In Place
Whether your loved one has nursing care for an hour every day, or you have a live-in carer, now is the time to schedule any help that you do have in for the Christmas period. Christmas is about food and family-time and fun yes, but if you are a family caregiver, it is also about extra help to care for your elderly loved one. The sooner you have the care in place and organised, the sooner you have peace of mind that your loved ones wellbeing is sorted out for the festive period.
Your work shifts as somebody without a family member to care for would usually revolve around getting the most time off with your family, but as a caregiver they will likely revolve around when you have care in place. Letting your employer know as early as possible, when you need to be at home, will help them make allowances for you. Knowing in advance if you need extra care cover because of a shift you have will also ensure your Christmas schedule runs smoothly.
Ensure Your Loved One Feels Involved
It can be easy to accidentally overlook your loved one as an extra Christmas task to ‘take care of’ rather than remembering that they too will want to feel involved and like they have a voice. Something as simple as asking them their opinion on Christmas dinner can make the world of difference to their sense of worth in your household. It is also important they understand the Christmas plans so they won’t feel totally stressed with a change of routine. They can also let you know what they feel comfortable with and what they will struggle with so you can work with them to ensure Christmas is as stress-free as possible for everyone.
Speak To Other Family Members About Plans
Do you want to split care with your sister over Christmas and the New Year to get a rest? Or can you let your children know that you’ll be providing your relative care on Christmas morning so won’t be able to do the usual champagne and bacon butties tradition as early as usual? The more you communicate with others, the more everybody can accommodate your new role this Christmas, and most importantly, help you with it.
Take Care Of Yourself
This should be your number one priority over Christmas as a family caregiver. It might sound selfish, but in fact it is the total opposite. You cannot effectively care for your loved one if you are burnt out. You will also struggle to enjoy Christmas at all and may even become angry or stressed around other family members too. If you need support, whether that is a live-in carer, or just a bit of time to yourself, look at these resources for information on getting help and support with your carer role
- The Live-in Care Hub
Your Christmas can be memorable in all the right ways as a family caregiver as long as you reach out for support as and when you need it. It also helps to plan well in advance so that everyone involved can work as a team to make Christmas wonderful for the whole family.