Holiday visit by family eldersEnjoying the Holidays

We are at the beginning of the Holiday season. It means different things to different people. The imperative to be happy can be stressful. It is all over the media and all around us to be happy this season. How wonderful that would be! So, how is that achieved? Problems don’t just get resolved because it is a holiday. But it is a time to reflect. It is a time to renew bonds. And it is a time to hope. Altogether, some new perspective or ideas can happen.

Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress:

Forget “perfect” doesn’t exist and it is spontaneity can be more fun.

Delegate the chores. No one person ought to be cooking, decorating, shopping and wrapping etc.

Plan for a guest’s special needs. When a guest is in a wheelchair, uses a walker, has some memory issues or whatever, you can make arrangements ahead of time.

Prioritize what is essential and what is not.

Be aware that family gatherings may hold some sadness for those who miss a loved one, family or friend.  Depression spikes around the holidays.

Acknowledge their loss, reminisce with them and let them be by engaging them at their own tempo.

Recognize how much stress you are putting on yourself.

Remember, you are entitled to enjoy the holidays not just do the preparations and clean-up.

Hiring help for a loved one who has physical and/or cognitive needs can make a huge difference. This way they have one-on-one attention and their needs can be more easily met. Overstimulation of the excitement, family, and children can be overwhelming for some older adults. This also gives the primary caregiver – a holiday off. They may come later or leave earlier or go into another room to recharge.

Old and New Traditions

Traditions are a great way to engage the younger members of the family. Starting new ones is a great way to do more of what you value at your holiday celebration. Perhaps gift giving is less important for those who don’t truly need. Giving to charity or a cause in their name may be more meaningful. Perhaps a prepared store-bought dish is good enough. It may be wiser to have some guests stay at a hotel than in your home. They may actually prefer it. Best to discuss this well in advance. Uber from the airport may make more sense than several trips back and forth at arrival and at departure. Because you may have to balance many things as a host, and as a guest, think ahead so unpleasantness can be minimized or avoided.

Sending a general email out requesting any special dietary needs or personalized schedules is helpful. Focus on what is important — the people much more than the food. Warm feelings much more than wrappings and presents. Many folks are on a budget and welcome ways to contribute beyond the monetary. Accept that some folks really do want to watch football or whatever. If your goal is for a good time for all… so that is ok too.

If your guests are older, perhaps the menu may reflect healthier eating. A stroll after the meal or tossing a ball may be suggested. It is a nice exercise to go around the room and share what each is thankful for or what their hopes for the coming year are.


Best wishes for a safe, healthy and happy holiday season to all of you from all of us at Paradise Home Health Care.