Tired of the holidays: post Christmas caregiver burnout

The festive season is supposed to be a time when we can relax and enjoy ourselves, and take things easy. However, for those caring part-time or full-time for a loved one, the holidays might have been just the opposite.

All change for Christmas

The need for care doesn’t stop on Christmas Eve and resume in the new year. It’s ongoing, following a routine that gives both structure and comfort for those being cared for, and a timetable for those doing the caring.

If you are a resident caregiver, you’ll know how this routine gets disrupted, albeit with the very best of reasons and intentions. When family come to visit, for example, all sorts of routines are significantly disrupted.

  • extra catering required for differing tastes
  • meals may include to richer or unusual foods
  • lunches are eaten later
  • evening meals are both later and larger than usual
  • rests / naps are missed
  • lots of noise in a normally quiet environment
  • queues for the bathroom!

Add in the sheer number of extra people to shop for, feed, water and accommodate, and the resident caregiver can be extraordinarily busy.

Let’s take you both out

If the family opt to go out or eat out, caregivers will be aware of the extra preparation involved in an unusual excursion, from taking extra provisions or timing bathroom breaks at suitable facilities during the outing. Even getting into (and more often out of) a different car may be more difficult, as might accommodating a wheelchair or other mobility aids.

No time to party

Regardless of what’s going on, there’s still the need for regular levels of care throughout the visit that often only a primary caregiver can do. You know the way your loved one wants to be washed, when they take their medication, which foods suit their digestion, or when they need to rest. So, you and your loved one inevitably miss out on part of the fun just because some part of care can’t wait.

When family depart, there is housework to do, extra laundry to wash, furniture to re-arrrange, and a fridge full of odds and ends to eat up too.

Bah humbug

The problem, is, many carers don’t feel they can speak up about the increase in workload or their restricted involvement. After all, people have taken time to drive to visit their aging grandparents, or cared-for relation, and it seems churlish to see their visit as anything but welcome. And of course, it is very welcome in terms of the psychological benefits of seeing family hearing their news, swapping stories and (hopefully) not having to cook every meal every day yourself.

The result of lots of activity over Christmas may be that as the primary caregiver, you are tired and feeling ‘put upon’ in the cold and dark of January. The solution is to give yourself a break with professional respite care, so you can take time just for yourself to do what you want, not what needs to be done.

Respite care for any time of year

At Vytality at Home, we provide respite care in your own home, for as long as you wish. From live-in care 24/7 to all day visits, our home care team can provide care to suit your needs – and those of your loved one. So whether you just want an afternoon to get out and shop, a couple of days away at a spa with a friend, or a week away on holiday, our friendly home caregivers are here to help. Call us to discuss your requirements.

Respite care can happen every week if you wish, simply by booking a regular home care visit. With a minimum 2 hour visit by our experienced caregivers, you can just relax and spend time doing what you want to do at home. Or extend that visit time to a whole day, and you can enjoy time out of the house doing what you love to do.

Benefits of regular home care

There’s also major benefit in regular home care visits, including:

  • a dedicated caregiver who comes every week, and who gets to know your loved one’s routine and requirements
  • a “window’ in your diary when you can book time out with friends, a game of tennis, an appointment at the barber’s, whatever you want
  • a personalized care plan that can be shared with other members of the immediate family via the app, so they know what care is provided and when
  • peace of mind that your loved one will be safe and cared for while you are away
Need respite care?

Contact us to talk through your requirements:

539, 5940 Macleod Trail SWCalgary, AB