Why you should always continue home care over Christmas

  • Are your family visiting you in your home over the seasonal holidays?
  • Do you have regular home care visits?
  • Thinking of pausing your home care over the holidays as the family can help?

One of our team recently had this discussion with her own senior parents regarding her father’s home care visits over Christmas. Her mother saw the family’s Christmas visits as an opportunity to save a few dollars. Her daughter, who first set up the home care and has seen the immense benefits, saw it differently. For her, regular reliable home care at Christmas is about her parents’ welfare, the continuity of professional care, and the whole family’s enjoyment of the holiday period.

Home care at Christmas; six reasons not to press pause!

1. Family visits and independence

Home care is a regular service that helps our Calgary home care seniors lead independent lives for longer in their own home. We create a personalized care plan that is unique to them, meeting specific needs and requirements, and regularly reviewed and updated as needs change over time. This regular routine is a constant in our client’s lives that they rely on to maintain their independence. If they suddenly have to ask family to do all the jobs involved, even for a couple of weeks, it breaks that routine and upsets the family dynamics which should be about enjoying quality family time, not doing the cleaning!

2. Disruption of care routines

For clients who rely on a high level of personal care, our caregivers are more than just help. Each caregiver is a trusted professional who understand their unique health conditions, their preferences, and who respects their dignity and privacy. Even the most well-meaning of family members won’t know the medical history like our client’s chosen caregiver will, and probably don’t know how to lift, wash, shave, etc.

3. Parent not patient

One aspect to consider is that aging parents or relatives may not want family members delivering the most personal care, especially if there are extended family present. Equally, family members may not feel comfortable in the role of personal caregiver, and feel embarrassed or worried about hurting their parent. At Vytality, our caregivers are perfectly happy to continue the usual care routine with family members around – it also gives them a chance to put a face to a name, have a chat, or admire the grandchildren in person!

4. Caregivers are practically family

The holiday period can be a very lonely time for some seniors, and while family visits are very welcome, there will be days when nobody many be around. That’s when the friendly face of their regular caregiver is most welcome, not just to help with the usual tasks, but to share what’s been happening, view new photos or swap Christmas dinner stories.

5. Caregivers need continuity too

One of the ‘unsung’ roles of a Vytality caregiver is the informal monitoring of their client’s physical and mental wellbeing. Often they are the first to notice if something has changed, if the client needs extra help, or the care plan may need adjusting. There’s also a financial continuity too for them in terms of maintaining their usual working hours.

6. Post-visit tiredness

Lovely as family Christmas visits are, they can also be exhausting for seniors (and the rest of us!). Once the whirlwind of family, grandchildren, dogs and assorted noisy new toys have driven away, aging relatives may just want a sit down and a rest after standing and walking more than usual. Mental stimulation is tiring in a good way, but it may not leave much energy for tasks that still need to be done. Our caregivers can help with the usual tasks, allowing seniors to rest, but if booked in advance, may have capacity to help with a little extra to restore the home to rights.

The best Christmas activity you can do as a family is…

Tidy up before you go home! Senior parents and relatives simply won’t have the energy or indeed capability to do it on their own. A couple of hours before you depart, as a family take time to restore parents’ house to rights.

  • Move furniture back to precisely where you first got them from, especially beds, furniture, rugs and chairs. This is very important for seniors with limited mobility, to ensure they can walk their usual routes around the house without unexpected obstructions.
  • Make sure that any items that need to go upstairs are carried up and placed back in position. (That’s what teenagers are for!) The same applies in reverse; strip beds and bring used bedding and towels down to the laundry room. (Our caregivers can do this extra laundry load next time they come.)
  • Move smaller items back to where your loved ones expect to see them, such as books, telephone handsets, tv remote, and utensils in the kitchen. What may seem an unimportant item to you, like a small glass in the bathroom, may be an important part of the care routine for taking medicines or similar. This also saves a lot of phone calls to you over the following weeks from parents asking, “Where did you put my such and such?”!
An extra gift this Christmas

If you’re concerned about the post-visit workload, family members can book (and pay for) an extra hour or two of home care via the app. So, our caregivers can do that extra load of laundry, clean the spare room/bathroom, restock the food in the fridge, and generally put the house back to rights. You can also book other services with us, such as a taxi to a special event, or someone to clear the snow from sideways and driveways.

For more information on our home care services, call us, email us or download our free app.

Happy holidays from all of us here at Vytality at Home.

539, 5940 Macleod Trail SWCalgary, AB