When you think of Easter, what are the first things that come to mind? Easter eggs? Bunnies? Spring renewal? Or are you remembering mom in the kitchen, dad hiding eggs and both parents presiding over a family table filled with food and full of laughter?
If you’re stressed this holiday because Easter no longer lives up to the memories you have of it, you are not alone. Many caregivers find the holidays to be disappointing, especially if they bear the brunt of the caregiving tasks and are already stretched to the max.
How do you enjoy the holiday and not just grin and bear it?
My best advice to you is to do something totally different. Don’t try to recreate your childhood memories which are no longer feasible. For example, if the Easter meal was traditionally held at your parents’ home, consider asking one of your siblings to host this year. Or host it at yours or make it a pot-luck so that you don’t have to prepare too much.
The main event may have always been the Easter egg hunt, but this year plan an alternate activity which mom and dad can participate in despite their physical and/or mental limitations. Decorating eggs, flower arranging or creating a family mural are activities that kids, adults and seniors can all get excited about. If you do decide to have an egg hunt, make sure someone is assigned to sit with the elderly family members and that they are entertained as well during that time.
Big, noisy gatherings can be overwhelming for seniors and cause them to become grumpy and possibly cause a scene. Preempt this by designating a quiet spot where they can sit and watch TV or read without being disturbed. If they will need a nap, plan ahead of time where they can lie down and get a few zzzs while the celebrations continue. Don’t assume they will want to sit at the table for long periods of time and make sure they have somewhere to go when the meal drags on too long.
It’s never easy to let go of the way things have always been and accept a new limited reality. But when you stop trying to fight it and go with the new flow, you’ll lower your stress levels and increase your enjoyment. This is true on Easter for sure, but also in day to day activities. Try it and see!
Towne Home Care wishes you a truly joyful Easter and a beautiful spring season!