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The holidays are upon us and with the season comes the hustle and bustle of family gatherings, shopping and cooking. Personal, family and religious traditions are an important part of the festivities for seniors. CAREGiversSM can bring hope and be a shining light for seniors during the holidays.
However; all the activity may bring unnecessary stress for seniors as their routines could be disrupted to accommodate holiday happenings. Watch this video from CAREGiver Lynn and see how she brought joy to a client and his wife with one special experience that has turned into a beautiful memory for her and the client’s wife.
As a CAREGiverSM you’re a key component in helping your clients maintain their important routines during this busy season. Keep the eight care needs in mind with each client visit. Here are a few things to consider if your client’s normal schedule is altered:
- Medication management. Be mindful of when and how medication can be taken.
- Hydration. If applicable for your client, make sure he or she is drinking plenty of water, especially if his or her activity level increases because of holiday events.
- Nutrition. Be aware of when he or she will be eating. This is especially important if medication must be taken with food.
- Rest. Being on the go more than normal can exhaust seniors physically and mentally. If your client wants to rest more when you’re together, allow him or her that opportunity.
If your client is out and about with family or friends more than normal during this time, taking the time to document your shift notes related to the eight care needs can help inform family members of their loved one’s current status.
When you’re with clients this holiday season, try your best to make the season memorable. A few things you can do to celebrate the holidays with your clients include:
- Ask about holiday traditions and try to recreate them in a meaningful way. This act of kindness may be a substantial gesture to seniors without family nearby. Decorating for the holidays is a common tradition but as seniors age, they may need help lifting boxes and setting up decorations.
- Learn about how other cultures celebrate the holidays. Local museums, libraries and community centers may host cultural events for the holidays. If your client is able, attending may be a fun learning and social experience. Using the Internet to research and watch videos of how other cultures celebrate is a great alternative to attending events.
- Ask about your client’s favorite movies and what makes them popular. Use the list to check out movies from the library or find out when they’re showing on TV and record them. If possible, watch the movies together and share favorite scenes.
- Ask to see family photo albums with favorite holiday memories. This is a great opportunity to learn more about your client and for him or her to rest.
- Bake and share the joy a treat can bring. Find a few recipes and whip up a batch of cookies together that can be taken to a gathering or delivered to an elderly neighbor. If you’re part of the Ready to CareSM tribe, make sure to cross this care mission off your list! If you’re not, sign up to start completing and sharing care missions to help brighten the days for seniors in your community!
- Use technology to your advantage. Distance can separate older adults from loved ones, which could worsen loneliness, isolation and depression during the holidays. Use the latest technology like Skype, Facetime, or a Facebook Messenger video call for your client and his or her loved ones to connect.
We hope you can put these tips to good use during the holiday season. Thank you for all that you do to care for your clients and we wish you the very best this this holiday season.
P.S. Don’t forget to share your CAREGiver story on social media. How has being a CAREGiver impacted you? What do you love about being a CAREGiver? Share it with the hashtag: #CAREGiverGratitude
If there’s something you’re interested in learning about to enhance your Home Instead journey, email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.* We welcome additional feedback or suggestions for this newsletter as well!