By Dolly Moiseeff
It’s not unusual to have high expectations for the holidays. We all want that perfect Christmas memory with awesome decorations, good food and perfect presents.
It’s also a time when caregivers are carrying an extra heavy load - one that they need help with. There are options for everyone.
Start by asking family members to lend a hand or accept a neighbor’s offer to help out. Sometimes volunteers from local organizations can provide respite care.
There’s also in-home care services, such as those offered by Kindred Spirits, a private duty, non-medical care company owned by Kristin Kolasa. "The holiday season can be very stressful for everyone. Our caregivers are trained to be sensitive to our client's needs over the holiday season and throughout the year by providing a seamless care plan for our clients and their families to reduce stress and enjoy the season. During this season, we often provide respite care to clients so their family caregiver can prepare and enjoy the holiday season", says Kolasa.
Caregivers need to take good care of themselves so they can provide good care for their loved ones.
Dementia specialist Teepa Snow warns against caregiver burnout. She advises caregivers to stop and take deep cleansing breathes five times a day to distress.
You know the breaths she’s talking about. You breathe in through your nose, filling your lungs and stomach, then breathe out slowly through your puckered lips. Three breathes, five times a day, can make a difference in stress levels.
Snow says that studies have found that stress raises cortisol levels (the stress hormone) increasing blood pressure, blood sugar and fat distribution (read spare tire).
The breathing exercise is just a first step. Caregivers need to eat well, get exercise, and sometimes have a little fun and enjoy themselves. They don’t need to do everything, every day. Get a little help and keep yourself healthy and loving life.