Home Care at Christmas; How to Make the Season Enjoyable for All

Christmas is fast approaching, so if you have a loved one who receives care, what can you do to make it seamless and happy for all?

The festive season is just around the corner, and whether you work in care, or have a loved one who receives care, you can never be too prepared. We’re not talking presents, food or decorations; we’re talking about having a plan in place to make it an enjoyable day and restful occasion for all the family.

Challenges of having a loved one who needs care at Christmas time

It’s true that Christmas is one of the most stressful holidays of the year. With what seems to be a bigger and more intense build up each year, the pressure to have the perfect, family day and the chaos of organising gifts and being “ready”, it’s easy to see how it can be overwhelming for anyone.

Add to the mix a child, parent, partner or loved one in need of care support, and it quickly becomes unbearable. It doesn’t need to be this way. Christmas is often one of the busier periods for our team of fully qualified care workers at Abbots; they are specially trained to handle busy and stressful times like house moves, funerals, and holidays. 

You might have a usual carer who is unavailable for the day itself as they celebrate the day with their own families, or perhaps you are solely responsible for the person and handle the usual care needs and realise the usual family visits, church trips or get togethers will be too much and leave you housebound. 

Or you might simply want to include a loved one in your plans but realise it is too much to handle alone. All of these situations are challenging and might feel overwhelming to consider at first, but professional carers are a solution. The festive season itself is often when the industry shines brightest and when respite care or live-in carers can be beyond worth their weight in gold.

How can a carer actually help my situation?

Asking for the help of a carer doesn’t mean you are not coping, are incapable, or have failed. When there is so much on your plate with the festivities, the demands of a usual daily routine are near impossible for any human – and none of us are sadly superhuman after-all!

If you haven’t considered private home care over this period before, here are some of the ways Abbots could help make it a less stressful holiday season:

Temporary break to allow you to get ahead – This could be as simple as a bringing in a professional day carer to allow you to have the time to get all the shopping, wrapping or food buying done. The short break from your usual day to day caring duties will mean you feel less like you’re juggling everything and more time to feel prepared and have a break.

An overnight break for your own mental health – Being a full time carer of a loved one can be even more overwhelming over the busy festive period. We encourage all our carers to care for themselves, and if you are the sole or main carer for your loved one, this includes headspace for you too. A short break, especially from a child, will give you and them the best chance at a calmer, happier time together.

Care on Christmas Day to take the pressure off – perhaps you are travelling away for a big get together and can’t fulfil the short normal duties on or around Christmas Day for an elderly parent and just require a bit of help to make sure they’re okay. A carer on the actual day itself too can help make the day more comfortable for a loved one you are bringing into a new environment or in a busier version of their usual home.

How do I arrange a carer over Christmas and what should I do next?

Firstly, it’s important to talk to the family members involved in your loved one’s care to find the best mutual arrangement. Different people might have different ideas on what is most easy is practical. Ultimately the decision should be based around the individual; what is best for them so that they can enjoy the day and not miss out; but not to the detriment of your own sanity on the day?

Take time to talk through and consider all options as there are many out there. This is why it is especially important to think about Christmas as early as possible so you have time to make all the arrangements in advance.

If it is possible for your child, partner or parent who receives the care – dependent on their ability and situation – involve them in the decision too. Routine is extremely important in autistic children for example; and this one day out of the 365 in the year needs to be delicately explained to a younger mind so it isn’t unsettling or disruptive to have a new person helping out for example.

And lastly, get in touch with your trusted, local care provider to discuss your individual needs. At Abbots Care, we believe and see that every case is really different, and naturally so is our solution to each. We have a team of well-trained carers who are understanding of the challenges over the festive period and ready to help you and your family have the happiest, joyous of times in the best way.

“I have had personal experience of the standard of care and humanity Abbots carers demonstrate. Last Friday I tripped and fell, hitting my head on the pavement. An Abbots Care worker saw me on the ground and came over to assist me and was then followed by another care worker. They were both very kind and reassuring and carried out First Aid before calling an ambulance crew to check me out as I had a large graze to my head, and the bridge of my nose was cut from my glasses, and was obviously shaken. Another care worker assisted me up and I was taken to their office to wait for the Paramedics. It is so important to mark when you find kindness in people and I know that the tenants at Chilton Green are in very good hands. The lady I visited today told me ‘the girls are my life’.”

Community Officer

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