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Navigating the Holidays and Beyond

When you’re stepping up to help a friend or loved one on a health journey, the holidays can become an extra-stressful time. In addition to your already-jammed to-do list, being a caregiver during the holidays demands a good chunk of extra time – as well as taking more of a financial and emotional toll.
We’ve brainstormed some ideas and caregiver advice designed to help you keep up your holiday cheer.

Send Seasons Greeting and Stay Connected

Let friends and family know what you’re doing. Embrace their positivity. Be open to their offers of assistance to help ease your holiday stress. Having a strong, supportive network is as important for you as it is to the person for whom you’re caring.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help With Holiday Chores

Your supporters want to get involved, but sometimes, they just don’t know how to help. That’s why they’ll actually welcome your specific requests. Suggestions: help you shop, decorate, address greeting cards, make cookies or meals, shovel the walk at home, read emails and holiday cards to your friend or loved one, visit them when you can’t…is that enough to start with?

Want to know how digital tools can help you better organize the everyday tasks of caregiving? Check out this article on digital scheduling and communication tools that can help you. Set a community of support in motion on tasks like meal planning, child- and pet care during appointments, transportation, tackling paperwork, household chores and more.

Attend Your Support Group in Holiday Style

Encourage the other members of your support group to pitch in on some holiday fun for your December meeting. You’ll be amazed how a few trays of holiday cookies and glasses of eggnog will serve to reinvigorate the sense of community among your group members. The holidays can be particularly challenging for caregivers that are lacking a sense of togetherness, so reach out to the members of your group that could use a little extra assistance.

Step Back and Appreciate Yourself

Even though your automatic response to the question “How are you doing?” is “I’m good,” you know it’s not always true. Caregiving isn’t easy. It takes extra time, money and emotional capital to help facilitate recovery for a stroke survivor. What you do is priceless, so know that you are celebrated this holiday season and take all the joyous spirit you deserve.

By: Sona Mehring, founder and CEO of CaringBridge.org

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"Know that you are celebrated this holiday season and take all the joyous spirit you deserve."

More on Caregiver Support

Make sure you get the support you need this holiday season. Check out what other resources the Stroke-Network.com has to offer.

Building a Network of Support

For advice and information on exactly how to build a solid network of support, check out this article written by experienced caregiver, Maya Hennessey. She explains exactly who should be on your team and what they should be doing.

In Your Community

To find support groups in your area that are specially for caregivers, check out this online database.

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