Caregivers of elderly family members face stressful situations. The holiday season adds more tension because of the increased workload, such as buying gifts, baking, decorating, etc. I’ve created a holiday wish list to reduce challenges for caregivers like me – those who take care of aging relatives and their own children.
Caregiver Wish List
Why not take on some respite care? Bring over a movie and watch it with my mother. Lend an ear and listen to the same stories my aunt repeats again and again.
Help with Chores – I take care of chores for my own family, my mother and my aunt. I could use a break.
Before you go to the store, give me a call to see if I need something. The next time you shop, buy some of the things we can stock up on and often forget – postage stamps, tissues, greeting cards or batteries. Of course, I’ll pay you back.
Ask me what I need help with. Here are some ideas: Drive my mother to an appointment, or pick up a prescription. Go through the mail and divide it into junk mail and important mail. Help write out Christmas cards and address them. Make sure that I balanced my mother’s checkbook.
Fun Stuff – Bring lunch over while I’m with my mom or aunt so I don’t have to prepare it. Sit with us while we’re eating and have a chat. Surprise me with a treat, even a card would brighten my day. Arrange for respite care (with a friend or other family) so I can get my nails done, or see a movie. Play cards with me while my mother is watching TV or resting.
Remember Me – I’m more than a caregiver. Feel free to ask about my mom and aunt, but don’t make that the center of the conversation. Call me and talk about the news or something funny that happened. I may need to complain and let off steam. Allow me to do that and don’t judge. Just be there.
Caregivers like me have this type of wish lists in our minds, but feel selfish sharing them. I hope this gives you some ideas for friends or family that takes care of senior family members for this holiday season and beyond. If you ore someone you know needs help or advice on being a caregiver, check out the AARP Caregiving Resource Center.
I am part of AARP’s Kitchen Cabinet on Caregiving. This is a series of posts on the topic of caregiving. This post and my social media involvement is compensated, but all opinions are my own