Christmas can be a stressful time of year, and there can be lots of pressure to create the perfect festive experience. For some, this can be made even more stressful when you have a loved one that needs some extra support, potentially in the form of home care.
In this article we wanted to give you some tips on how to prepare for Christmas so that everyone can enjoy the festive season to its fullest.
Challenges you face when a loved one needs home care at Christmas
Every year, the pressure to have the perfect Christmas seems to grow and with that, stress levels rise and time becomes sparse due to all the extra preparation. Sometimes, this may mean that you’re not able to give your loved one as much attention as you would usually like to.
Over Christmas a few different situations arise that might not have been a problem throughout the rest of the year. Maybe the carer that usually visits is celebrating the special day with their own family. Or maybe Christmas planning means you can’t make the journey to visit your loved one as much as you usually would.
For some, maintaining routine is an important factor in feeling safe, secure and independent. This is particularly the case for those who may be suffering from memory conditions such as dementia.
Getting from A to B
There is a lot to think about on Christmas day; children wanting to open presents, getting the turkey in the oven and greeting family when they arrive. Picking up or dropping off an elderly family member might not be feasible.
How can home care help?
Burley’s home care is flexible and led by those who need care. Here are just a few of the ways that home care could be of assistance:
Community events can be a big part of Christmas as they create a festive atmosphere. Home carers can escort clients to any social events they may want to attend, so that they can enjoy the build up to Christmas.
This might especially be the case for our Parkinson’s home care clients who may have mobility issues which can cause difficulties in the Christmas crowds or on icy paths.
Relieving family members
If a loved one usually receives full time home care from a family member, we can provide compassionate respite care so that the family member can take a break and organise their Christmas.
Home care services allow your loved one to regularly see another friendly face, taking the pressure off family members. This is someone they will become comfortable with over time, with our carers forming genuine, long-lasting relationships with their clients.
Help with personal care
Everyone wants to look their best for Christmas, but some may find it more difficult than others to get themselves ready. As part of our home care service we are happy to help with any personal grooming. We can help with washing, getting dressed, brushing hair, and shaving so that they can look perfect for any festive family photos.
We find this particularly popular with our physical disability home care clients who are likely to need a little assistance in completing their daily routines.
Companionship in the place they are most comfortable
It is usual for families to go away for Christmas, maybe to go on holiday or to visit other family members, leaving a loved one who usually is cared for behind for longer than usual.
Luckily, most home care agencies offer flexible home care schedules. If you’re worried that someone may be left alone a little longer than normal during this period, why not look into our befriending service. We can arrange for someone to pop along for a cup of tea and a chat to make sure that they’re keeping well.
It can be difficult keeping up that routine while attending Christmas plays, buying everyone presents, decorating the house and doing the food shopping. These routine changes can particularly affect those with conditions such as Dementia. This is where a specialist dementia home care service can help. Experienced carers can help plan ahead for these routine changes, ensuring as little disruption as possible
Transport for an elderly relative
Plan in advance how the elderly relative will get to where they need to be.
Make sure that they aren’t travelling alone. Cold weather conditions can make traveling alone dangerous for an elderly person. See if there are any other family members that might be able to travel with them, or arrange for a carer to help with the travel plans.
Book carers as early as possible to avoid any last minute problems. Make sure that the elderly relative knows how they are getting there so that it isn’t a surprise or stress for them on the day too.
How to include an elderly relative on Christmas Day
Getting an elderly relative to the festivities is one challenge, but it can be a completely different one to make sure they are involved and enjoying the day. So below are a few ideas of how to include an elderly relative in your day.
Play board games and card games
Games can be a great way to get the whole family together on Christmas day. It is likely that an elderly relative will have a few fun games to share with everyone, and it can always be fun to introduce them to a new game or two. It also helps keep everyone’s minds active!
Reminisce using old photo albums
Looking through photos is another great way to bring generations together. Photos can be a great way to jog memories and get stories being shared. This is especially good if a loved one is living with dementia.
Ask if they have any music requests
Sometimes the older generations can be left feeling a little forgotten about when it comes to music playlists. Music can also be a great way to trigger memories, again especially for those living with dementia, so if you ask an elderly relative for music suggestions you might also get a few stories too.
Have a space where they can be quiet
Christmas can be a little over stimulating which can get tiring. Make sure that there is somewhere quiet that an elderly relative can retreat to if they become tired, or overwhelmed.
If you would like to find out more about how we might be able to help you have a stress free Christmas, speak to one of our team by calling us on one of the following numbers:
Hampshire: 01425 470411
East Dorset: 01202 348200
Wiltshire: 01722 280112
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