Five Tips For Making The Holidays Less Stressful For Caregivers

The founder and editor-in-chief of Today's Caregiver magazine and offers five tips for helping caregivers have a lower stress holiday season
Dec. 7, 2011 - PRLog -- The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone, but even more so for those caring for an elderly parent of relative, says Gary Barg, editor-in-chief and publisher of Today’s Caregiver Magazine, and author of THE FEARLESS CAREGIVER: How to Get the Best Care for your Loved Ones and Still Have a Life of Your Own.

With the holidays quickly approaching, there is much confusion with the hustle and bustle of preparing for extra company, fixing special meals and playing the host while trying to enjoy the whole experience as well, Barg says. For a caregiver, this time can add a whole new set of strains to an already stressful situation.”

Barg offers some tips for making the holidays enjoyable and less stressful for all:

1.) Try to include your loved one in some holiday preparations. Give him or her something to do that is within their abilities and that will make them feel useful. Occupying their time will help you get other things done as well.

2.) Maintain a sense of familiarity. Go easy on the decorations, and don’t move too much furniture to accommodate trees or other objects. Changing familiar surroundings can lead to confusion, especially for someone with memory problems, physical impairment, or other handicap. Extra cords, fragile decorations, and piles of gifts can be hazards to those with limited mobility.

3.) Try to limit the number of guests in your home at one time. With all of the holiday hubbub, your loved one could become confused and agitated. and make sure that someone is always aware of the whereabouts of your loved one. If he or she tends to wander, there is a chance that this may happen when everyone thinks someone else is on watch.”

4.) Ask for help! Don’t try to take on all of the burdens of caring for your loved one and preparing for the holidays. Something as simple as asking a neighbor or other relative to stay with your loved one for a few hours while you get some shopping done can make all the difference between a calm and a stressed-out holiday.

5.) Most importantly, take time for yourself. Spend an hour in a bubble bath, read a book, play in the snow. Do something that you enjoy, and have fun. The holidays are about fun and enjoyment, so make sure that you have some of both.

Caregiving is a daunting challenge, Barg says, Caregivers may have unusually high expectations during holidays and special occasions. Knowing that this might be a last birthday, anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc., caregivers may feel enormous pressure to make this time especially significant. But keeping your level of expectations realistic will make the day go smoother for you, your loved one, extended family and friends.”

Book Review: THE FEARLESS CAREGIVER: How to Get the Best Care for your Loved Ones and Still Have a Life of Your Own. “While they are giving care, the nation's 65.7 million family caregivers rarely get a rest. Gone are the days when you could rely on others to do the work of caring for a loved one in your family. America's healthcare system throws many of the vital decisions, costs and burdens back on the family.

This book clearly defines your vital role in developing your loved one's care plan. It teaches you to deal successfully with managed care organizations, home health services, and especially your loved one; and arms you with the knowledge and skills you need for deciding if your loved one's care is appropriate, if your doctor is the right one, if something more is needed. From wills and powers-of-attorney, to practical tips for dealing with disabilities, to long term care options, to battling stress and depression -- the "shared wisdom" in this book comes not only from the experienced editors of Today's Caregiver Magazine and, but also from the inspiring personal stories of readers of the magazine who have learned to "stand up to the system when the system no longer stands up for your loved one."

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Established in 1995, Caregiver Media Group has become the recognized media authority on caregiving through Today’s Caregiver magazine,, the Fearless Caregiver Conferences, the award winning book - The Fearless Caregiver: How to Get the Best Care for Your Loved One and Still Have a Life of Your Own, as well as Caregiver Media Group's award winning content and custom publications.

Today’s Caregiver magazine contains cover interviews with celebrity caregivers, articles on caregiving issues and vital resources for all caregivers. Cover interviews have included Leeza Gibbons, Clay Walker, Kathy Greenlee, Debbie Reynolds, Dixie Carter, Debbie Reynolds, Della Reese, Linda Dano, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Patricia Richardson, Robert Urich and Clay Aiken. The digital version of the magazine is available free of charge at
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