If you are caring for a parent or older relative you will be no stranger to stress. So the idea of caring at Christmas, with all the pressures it involves, might be daunting for you. But it doesn’t have to be!
Christmas is a time for relaxing and being with family. It’s important to remember that, for both you and the older person you care for. Try not to worry about the festivities and do what you need to do to enjoy the season.
Here are some tips from Age Space about the little tricks you should keep in mind while caring for a relative over Christmas:
Plan your Christmas activities well in advance, consulting other family members. It will reduce stress for both you and your elderly parent or relative to know what’s happening and when; from who is hosting, to who is cooking what. That way you’ll not have to worry about any unexpected surprises on the day. You can just focus on looking after your parent and enjoying Christmas.
Prepare what you can in advance to make everything run smother on Christmas day itself. Getting decorations or even certain dishes prepared before the day will save you time and worry. There is no shame in reheating some precooked veg! Same goes for taking short cuts. Buying things pre-made may save you, and the person you are caring for, unnecessary stress.
Talk your parent or older relative through the Christmas plans so they are not confused or worried on the day. People who not long ago were in charge of the Christmas routine might find it hard to let go and may become anxious about the plans. Reassuring them you have it all in hand is a good step to make sure they enjoy themselves.
Are you holding the Christmas Day meal at your house? Then having your relative to stay with you for the whole Christmas period is a good idea to reduce stress. It will decrease any concerns about travelling and reduce the risk of your parent feeling isolated at Christmas, especially if they typically live alone.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family. If everyone does their bit it and helps with individual tasks it can make everything more straightforward for everyone! If your sister is coming, why doesn’t she bring the Christmas pudding? Maybe your brother-in-law can do the vegetables and the older kids can do the washing up. Remember it’s not just your responsibility to run Christmas Day, or to look after your parent, and if there is any time of year to ask for a little assistance its at Christmas.
Online shopping is your friend! Ordering your presents, decorations, food, turkey and all the trimmings online can be a huge time saver. Not to forget having them delivered to your house at convenient times. At a lot of online retailers, you can also pay a little bit extra to have your presents delivered pre-wrapped saving you yet more time and stress.