As a family caregiver, you play an extremely significant role in the life of your elderly loved one—a part that can also be overpowering, strenuous and sometimes unappreciated. As an encouragement for all of the good work you are doing, here are a few tips to help during this holiday season if a family member or friends have lost a loved one:
- Ask if they would like someone to be with them to decorate the Christmas tree and different areas around the house
- Offer to prepare meals. Find out what their favorite recipes are. Maybe you can surprise them with a homemade meal.
- Stay and eat some meals with them. This will help them feel loved and like that are not alone. If you have children, ask if you can bring them with you for the meal.
- Include them in your invites for events. If you are planning on going to see Christmas lights in the park, ask them to come along or if you are going to holiday parties, ask the hosts if you can bring a guest.
- Honor their choice to say yes or no to invites. Sometimes they may not feel social, and want to just stay home and rest quietly.
- Listen to the stories of their loved one and share yours. You may have to initiate this conversation. Tell them a wonderful memory you have from the holiday season with your family. Hopefully this will help them to share and bring some comfort.
- Encourage them to care for themselves. Bring them some good smelling candles or lotion. Maybe a gift card for a massage or a pedicure.
- Listen, listen, listen! This is one of the most important things you can do for anyone in any situation. Sometimes they don’t want an answer or solution, they just want an open ear.
What do you plan to do this season to support your loved ones?