The holidays are fast approaching. While they are a time of togetherness and joy, for some family members, the responsibilities add up, which can make this time feel stressful and difficult to manage. Known as the “Sandwich Generation,” adults who have children under the age of 18 and parents over the age of 65 experience the caretaker role on both ends of the age spectrum. Planning for the holidays involves many moving pieces, and it helps to keep some of the following goals in mind.
The holidays are about a lot of things, but food and fun are two major aspects of the end-of-year season. With that in mind, and knowing that you will be spending a lot of time with a full household, try to plan for activities and hungry hordes. Stock up on snacks, consider buying some board games, and if you plan to go anywhere, make sure to check into reservations so you don’t leave the clan hanging.
The movies make holidays seem like a fun, chaotic series of activities where everyone spends time together and has a wonderful time. They sure can be, but when there are younger children and older parents involved, it’s worth being a little more realistic in the approach. Instead of a family game of football, consider something a little easier on the knees and hips like a walk in a local park. If mobility is an issue for a parent, you can also plan fun indoor activities like an arts and crafts project, or participate in the meal preparation. The key is to assess the abilities of all the participants and come up with something where everyone can feel included.
Giving Them a Break
Family is all about love and togetherness, but sometimes, it can be tiring to interact with another generation for too long. The kids need to have some activities that let them get their wiggles out. Parents need to have time to rest and also some quality adult time. Whether you are the type to build a complete schedule of activities for the entire holiday, or you like to wing it, make sure to include some time where the generations can relax.
Taking Care of Yourself
It’s hard to remember that you can’t be there for others if you aren’t there for yourself first. Make sure to keep up your health routines during the holiday. Give yourself some time to take a deep breath away from your charges, whether it’s taking the dog for a quick walk or another chance to be in the moment without two generations tugging on your arm for attention. While it’s hard to watch what you eat and drink when you are making merry, try to keep hydrated and put some limits on your consumption.
Asking for Help
You don’t need to do it alone. If you feel overwhelmed with the demands of the season, take stock of who can lend a hand. Visiting family may be able to step in for some responsibilities, but if it’s really all on your shoulders, consider some outside support. Housecleaning, cooking, errands and caretaking can all be found to alleviate some of the stress.
CarePlus Home Health understands that the holidays are supposed to be a time for family, but someone has to make sure it goes off without a hitch. We can help. By being there for your loved one’s daily living needs, we can give you time and focus to make the season a time to remember. Contact us today to learn more about our services.