Caregiving Tips During the Holiday Season

by | Dec 9, 2018 | Articles | 0 comments

Why You Must Read On...

4 mins

  • How to make your holiday season more pleasant especially dealing with difficult family members
  • Learn how to respond to criticism on your caregiving capabilities

As 2018 is coming to an end, most of us are preparing for the festive season and the long holidays.

That said, the holiday and festive seasons can bring out of the worst in us or our family members as it is a hectic time that is full of unreasonable expectations.

Understandably, this can make it difficult or insensitive family members especially hard to deal with more so when you’re a caregiver for an older adult who may be looking for some extra support.

Fret not and to make your holiday season more pleasant, here are 3 ways to deal with difficult individuals.

  1. Reset your expectations

It is easier and the best option to adjust your own expectations rather than hoping for others to change.

So, don’t expect your brother who hasn’t called all year to visit your mother this holiday or hoping for your sister to come over to help prepare Christmas dinner.

And once you accept the fact that your family will not change, you will have the liberty to make your own plans without anxiously hoping for a miracle.

By removing the uncertainty, it reduces stress and lets you get on with your plans for the holiday.


  1. Reset your older adult’s expectation

Having said that, you would still want your senior to enjoy the holiday and the family gatherings.

And if the holidays won’t be going as what they are expecting, do inform them about the significant changes ahead of time so that they won’t feel blindsided.

However, in some cases, you may want to protect them from getting hurt by telling a white lie about the reason why the plans have changed.

This may be required if your senior has dementia and won’t be able to fully comprehend the hurt or if they continuously ask about the holiday plans.


  1. Exclude toxic family members

There are always some bad eggs in the family and you don’t need to feel guilty about excluding them from your holiday family gathering.

Don’t let these toxic individuals take the joy away from the festive season, especially if they are notoriously known for bringing up unpleasant memories for your senior.

However, if they do confront you about being left out, apologise and just say that your older adult is not well enough to have a large group over at your home.

Having said that, these difficult family members may criticise you on your caregiving capabilities.

Undeniably, yelling or getting upset at them might feel justified for the moment, however, it will not reduce your stress or even cut down on future criticisms.

Here we’ve got 3 different ways to respond to caregiver criticisms that you could do to change the tone of the conversation during this holiday season.

  1. Acknowledge their concern, then ask what they’d suggest instead
    When someone criticises about how you did something, most natural response is snapping back defensively. However, we all know that is going to lead to an unnecessary shouting match. Instead, acknowledge their concerns and ask for their suggestions on how to improve. You may not be interested in their opinions but by this response, it will surprise them and change the tone of the conversation.
  1. Repeat the critic back to show how it made you feel
    There are people who don’t think before they speak and don’t realise they’ve hurt your feelings or coming across as critical.Let them know that what they said was unacceptable without starting a fight. Be the bigger person and do this calmly repeating it back to them while using an “I” statement.
  2. Politely stand up for yourself
    Sometimes, criticism can be completely out of line. In these situations, you should stand up for yourself. The most essential thing while standing up for yourself is to do it calmly and politely. By doing so, the person saying those things will be more likely to listen to you and think twice before saying things like that again.


(Credit: Daily Caring)

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