Nov 24, 2014
5 Holiday Tips for Family Caregivers
AARP’s Amy Goyer provides insights to help caregivers better enjoy the season

WASHINGTON, DC — As the holiday season picks up, caregivers can become overwhelmed by their already busy schedules. In fact, a study by MIT’s AgeLab and AARP’s Public Policy Institute found that caregivers were more likely to report feeling stressed and worried than non-caregivers. Amy Goyer, AARP’s family and caregiving expert, addresses these challenges with helpful tips and suggestions for happier holidays.

5 Holiday Tips by Amy Goyer

  1. Anticipate your own holiday hot buttons: Are there holiday activities or toxic relatives that trigger stress? Minimize the drama, don't try to resolve longtime family problems over the holidays, try short encounters and develop quick exit strategies.
  2. Keep self-care at the top of the list: It's easy to let this slip when you're even busier than usual. Keep it simple and incorporate it into your daily caregiving routine if possible.
  3. Plan ahead and focus on what is most meaningfulPerfection is not the goal of the holidays — joy is! Cramming more into your already crazy schedule can push you over the edge, so consider what is really doable before you commit.
  4. Ask for help for yourself and those you care for: Even if you don't usually pay for help, consider doing so now, since hiring someone to assist for a few hours can be a huge relief.
  5. Start new traditions: Instead of focusing on what you're not doing, try doing something new. Give the gift of time or attention rather than costly presents. Attend a holiday concert you've never gone to before.

Read more of Amy Goyer’s holiday tips here.

“During the holidays we often take on the roles of host and guest, which come with certain social expectations and responsibilities,” says AARP’s caregiving expert, Amy Goyer. “Add these holiday roles to the dozen of roles caregivers are already playing every day — nurse, financial planner, personal assistant, etc. — and the stress can quickly spiral out of control.”

At the center of the Ad Council and AARP’s public service announcements — in both English and Spanish — is the message that caregivers can get help with the many new and sometimes challenging roles they are experiencing through AARP’s online resource center at aarp.org/caregiving. Through this portal, caregivers can find information specific to their needs, discover supportive online communities, and share their stories with others. This is all a part of AARP’s ongoing campaign to support caregivers, especially during this busy season.

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About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more atwww.aarp.org.​

CONTACT:  
Nancy Thompson, 202-434-2560, nthompson@aarp.org

 

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