Christmas as a Carer: Hi everyone, I've been... - Care Community

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Christmas as a Carer

Callendersgal profile image

Hi everyone, I've been thinking about what a trial holidays can become when you are someone's carer. This applies especially if the one you care for no longer has enough cognition to know about celebrations and their meanings.

It can also be very isolating. Not everyone understands how to engage with someone with reduced cognition and may even try to avoid contact when you take the plunge and ask them to join you.

Your loved one may not react well to the extra people around or changes in their daily routine, so navigating the Christmas period can be tricky.

First, I think it's important to consider your own needs. Christmas can be an emotional time and there aren't many feasts at which the 'ghost of Christmas past' doesn't come calling, to remind you of happier times, and if you are alone save the one you care for, it's easy to feel down and depressed. I think the 25th December needs a little forward planning, even if you claim that you are fine on your own and you 'aren't making a fuss'.

See what you can do to make your day pleasanter. At least arrange a phone call or two, if no-one's going to be with you. Maybe buy that thing which you've been hankering after, as a gift from you to you, as well as a gift for the one you care for. And maybe mark out some interesting TV programs, start a new book or do some puzzles when you do eventually get a little time to yourself. Or set yourself a tea-tray and slice of cake to really sit and savour. And please make sure you do get a little time for yourself! If you enjoy a drink, then why not indulge in one or two to sip through the day. Of course you need a fairly clear head, but a social drink is perfectly OK.

For most, he ideal would be to see some other people, even for short periods, especially family, if you can. (Of course, with covid19 still banging on our doors, you must consider what risk that will pose to you both, and maybe make sure that everyone concerned takes a lateral flow test for several days beforehand).

It's vital that anyone who comes, does understand what's going on with your cared-for, as too much noise and fuss can cause meltdowns. Make sure there's an escape route to a quieter room for a while.

I'd also say to think long and hard if you've had an invitation to visit someone else as if it all becomes too much in someone else's home it's harder to extricate yourself from the situation.

Remember that Christmas is only one day, and it's actually pretty soon over. I can remember a couple of Christmases when I just breathed a sigh of relief that I'd got through the day. And even if it goes really well, the likelihood is that, if your cared-for has dementia, they may remember little of the day afterwards.

Photo: Unsplash, Andrea Radu

9 Replies
sassy59 profile image

A very thoughtful post Callendersgal and some great ideas too. I feel for carers in general but more so at Christmas time. Forward planning is key in order to get the best from the day for all. I’d also like to mention those that are completely alone for whatever the reason and hopefully will be able to somehow enjoy their day too.

Covid of course will be doing its best to ruin Christmas for many so we really do need to keep ourselves and others as safe as possible.

Seasons Greetings to all. Xxx🎄🎅🏻💜

Hi Callendersgal, some really sound advice. Christmas isn't always great for everyone, especially if you are the main carer. It brings extra stresses with it and can be excruciating for some. I think your advice to set treats for yourself throughput the day is really good. Carers are often the forgotten army and they need to be able to have the resilience to get through this time.

Wishing one and all a good weekend

🌟 xxxx

Ps should read "wishing one and all a good week"!

Thank you callendersgal! Well I already know most of my Christmas pressies this year as I’ve had to go to the shops to get them. My parents skk on far have managed to wrap them…although we may well have some muddled items! I helped mum make her Christmas cake which she could not have managed for the first year this year & have already tried not to be exasperated by mum not remembering the trip we went out on to get fillings for our home made crackers! Lots of firsts me this year! It will be the first year I properly take control of Christmas dinner too. Could be an interesting one!

However I’m a Christian and ask the peace of my Lord Jesus will fill my heart and household and all of yours too!

Callendersgal profile image

So glad to hear you are feeling able to make the best of things and that you've tried to make your mum's life as normal as possible, even though there have been significant changes. It isn't easy but you can only do the best you can. Very best wishes with your Christmas dinner. I'm sure it will be a triumph and always remember, it's not a test and if a few things don't work out, it really doesn't matter! (One year my mum, fortified by a couple of sherries at a neigbours, forgot where she'd put the roast parsnips! They turned up a couple of days later when she went to use the grill and found she'd put them there to keep warm. And she didn't even have dementia). The mistakes are what makes for a memorable day. Very best wishes for the Christmas season. 🎄🎄👍😊

Lovely and sensible words.

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to Knight06

Thank youKnight06 and wishing you a merry Christmas.🙏

What a beautiful post Callendersgal and very true if you're carer is your loved one it must be very hard . X

Callendersgal profile image

Thank you Byron2020 and a merry Christmas to you🙏

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