September 27, 2012
Instead of heading to the mall to check a few items off your holiday shopping list, you’re taking mom to a doctor’s appointment and then heading out to the pharmacy to pick up her meds. Instead of looking forward to spending time with the relatives at your annual holiday gathering, you’re dreading the extra housework you’ll have to do on top of making sure Dad gets bathed each morning.
Can you identify with the lyrics to the Faith Hill song, “Where are you Christmas? Why can’t I find you? Why have you gone away?” It’s easy to get so lost in the responsibilities that come with caring for an aging parent that you can’t pause to enjoy the festivities of the season.
Yet, it’s possible to survive and enjoy the holidays if you ask for help. Get in touch with an in-home senior care agency to find out more about how the following five home care services can help to save your sanity during the holiday season and throughout the year.
- Transportation – Having trouble fitting all your loved one’s myriad doctor appointments and errands into your schedule? Enlist the help of a professional caregiver to accompany your loved one on routine trips to the doctor’s or grocery store. Caregivers employed by a senior home care agency are typically bonded and insured, and provide assistance for your loved one before, during and after the outing.
While a caregiver helps your loved one with errands, you can use that time to check off items on your own to-do list. Or, you can devote the time you would have spent sitting in the doctor’s office doing something that you and your loved one will both enjoy instead, such as gift shopping or attending a holiday event.
- Housekeeping – Visits from friends and family members around the holidays create a lot of extra chores around the house that your loved one may be unable to handle due to lack of mobility or stamina. A professional caregiver can help out by accomplishing light housekeeping tasks such as dusting, vacuuming, changing bed sheets, doing laundry, or taking out the trash.
Instead of dreading the arrival of family members because of all the work you’ll have to put into cleaning up the house, you and your loved one will be able to fully enjoy the visit and appreciate the family togetherness—one of the aspects of the holiday that older adults most look forward to.
- Companionship – The holidays can be a sad and lonely time for seniors who have lost a spouse or have busy families that cannot come visit as much as they would like. Receiving regular visits from a hired caregiver, who often quickly becomes more of a friend, can help lift your loved one’s spirits by offering conversation, creating opportunities to reminisce, and encouraging mind-stimulating activities.
Visit as much as you can, but instead of feeling guilty about the times you can’t spend with Mom or Dad, rest assured your loved one can still receive healthy social interaction.
- Meal Assistance – Mom might now need extra help preparing the traditional Thanksgiving meal as she has always done, or perhaps even planning and preparing daily meals has become too much. Instead of worrying about how Mom might leave the stove on all night or that she’s not eating well, let a professional caregiver assist with planning out healthy meals for the week, creating a shopping list, and supervising meal preparation and cleanup.
- Personal Care – If your loved one needs help with bathing, managing incontinence and other personal tasks of daily living , as a family caregiver, you likely spend a great deal of time each day attending to those needs. Hiring a trained professional caregiver to provide that assistance will not only spare you time and stress, but may also spare your loved one a little dignity.
Instead of spending your mornings on nursing duty as you walk Dad through his wake-up routine, you’ll be able to spend quality time with him as a son or daughter again.
Receiving extra help for even just a few hours a week can free you up to spend the holidays with your loved one how you would like to, not how you have to.
For more information about how a professional caregiver can meet your loved one’s specific needs and to discuss scheduling and pricing information, call a local in-home senior care agency.
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