The song: “There is No Place Like Home for the Holidays” sung by the familiar voice of Perry Como, creates a feeling of coming home to a warm, full house at Christmas time. Surrounded by family and friends, celebrating the season, sharing meals and memories – home is where the heart is. No one wants to think about hospice when the holidays are approaching, but this is precisely when it should be considered. Hospice care can keep loved ones at home and in the thick of all the family activities while their pain and symptoms are expertly managed, improving quality of life.
Care That Keeps Loved Ones Home
Hospice enables your loved one to be where they feel most comfortable: their home. From medical support and personal care to companionship, hospice brings peace of mind to patients and their families this time of year and all through the year. Families often put off seeking hospice care until after the holidays, but hospice can actually help their loved one stay at home in the center of family holiday activities while their caregivers manage their pain and symptoms, improving their quality of life.
Caregiving During the Holidays
While the holiday season ushers in family traditions, the needs of your loved one with an end-stage illness don’t take holiday. As a caregiver for someone under hospice care, how can you create a memorable time together during the holidays without feeling overwhelmed? Here are a few ideas to help you navigate the holidays.
Simplify Your Plans
Many caregivers likely had to rearrange much of their lives to prioritize caring for a loved one; the holidays are no different. Consider a couple of these options:
- Order takeout or delivery rather than cooking an elaborate meal.
- Scale back on gift-giving or forgo exchanging gifts.
- Cut back on activities that cause stress, watch holiday movies, take a car ride to look at lights, or play holiday music.
Remember Self Care – avoid fatigue and burnout, remember to sleep, drink water, eat well, and move your body. Try to engage in a 15-minute walk.
Ask For Help – requesting help is a necessity any time of the year for caregivers, especially during holidays. Don’t hesitate to ask family or friends to step in, even a few hours can be a huge relief.
Make Memories – creating a memorable holiday season for your loved one is a gift to them and to yourself. Take a walk down memory lane with an old photo album, interact, and ask questions.
The Takeaway Gift
Caring for a loved one during the holidays can be emotionally demanding, but it is also an opportunity to express love, create lasting memories, and find comfort in togetherness. By embracing open communication, creating new traditions, fostering emotional connections, and practicing self-care, you can rest assured that the holiday season remains a time of love and hope. Remember, the greatest gift you can give your loved one is your presence, understanding, and love during their final journey.