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Caregivers and Holiday Stress

Holiday Stress

Holiday Stress While Trying to be a Caregiver

Are you a caregiver who just has too much to do at this time of the year? Holiday stress can be really tough. Add shopping, entertaining, traveling and celebrating the holidays to your already full-plate of daily caregiving and you are likely to feel overwhelmed soon.

Here is Your Plan

  • What to do?  Decide on what must be done and how you can get it done. Then, call for help in caregiving.  Yes, even if it’s just for a day, or  for a few hours.
  • Who do you call?  Check out the Adult Day Care Services in your area.  While your loved one is in day care, you have a break to go do what needs to be done, the shopping, the entertaining, whatever it may be.   And your loved one has a break too, with a chance to socialize, participate in holiday activities, and just relax,  all the while having the care and supervision he or she needs.
  • Why?  It will cut down on your holiday stress!  There are studies that show that caregivers caring for even the most demanding of patients, such as those with cancer and dementia, can find some relief when using day care assistance.

Holiday Stress

A study by Mossello et al. in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, published in 2008, on day care for older dementia patients found that “a 2-month period of Day Care assistance is effective in reducing behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia patients and in alleviating caregivers’ burden.” In the study, primary caregivers were mostly women, usually a patient’s daughter. Caregivers who used Day Care Services reported reduced holiday stress.  They also experienced an increase in life satisfaction and social activity.

In another study, by Gaughler et al, in 2003,   there was evidence that experience in day care can “even decrease the amount of negative behaviors the elder exhibits while with the caregiver at home.”  A little break can cheer up everyone concerned.  Everyone needs a little leisure time for recreation.     It is a stress reliever to  take  some time to see something different and meet  someone else for socializing.

What a Relief!

Adult day care services provide relief to family caregivers. Although the services cost money, adult day care services provide caregivers with more time for work, doctor’s appointments, shopping, and other duties, or for needed recreation.  The services provide caregivers with a decrease in feelings of burden.    Family caregivers are relieved that  their loved one can benefit from the services while they take care of other commitments they may have.

What if there are no Adult Day Care Centers in your area? Call the home health care agency you use and see if they have a list of qualified sitters who would come to your home to take care of your loved one for a few hours.  Call your Area Agency on Aging, and see if they can help you locate a facility with such services or a qualified adult sitter.

If it’s time for a break, then call today, and find some relief from Holiday Stress.

Read  another of our blogs “Care Alternatives:  Adult Day Services”

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