A change in health condition, such as moving to 24-hour homecare, may change someone’s ability to get around but may not change how stressed residents of Arcadia and elsewhere can sometimes be trying to get ready for any upcoming holidays.
In fact, the new status, especially if it limits one’s abilities to get around or do other things to get ready for a holiday, may even cause more stress and distress.
The staff at Accredited Home Care is always sympathetic to what’s happening when our clients feel this way. We also encourage our caregivers to look for ways to help them adjust to things being a little different and also talk with their families to discuss ways they can provide extra support and encouragement – and maybe even create new traditions or rituals that no one needs to get terribly stressed about.
This sort of situation is also a good opportunity for LVNs to help. Sure they have training in physical care but in some circumstances, they can provide a sympathetic ear and offer advice on how to reduce stresses and accept current reality.
More about the holidays
Holiday stress doesn’t have to be restricted to winter holidays, that always-busy period of time between Halloween and New Year when there are all sorts of religious, cultural and secular celebrations taking place, plus all sorts of societal obligations involving gift-giving, shopping, decorating, travel, family members and entertaining.
It can include Easter, a spring gathering that involves food and family; even Independence Day can include the same comforting activities that have been done for years, such as watching fireworks together.
Although all of these elements can all add up to extra pressure, some people enjoy aspects of them, such as the opportunity to get together with loved ones and enjoy meals together.
So if someone’s health restricts them to their own home they may miss out on being able to go visit others or participate in the same rituals. They also may worry that their loved ones may continue to celebrate without them. They may not be as able to get around the kitchen or dining room as well as they used to due to their physical condition.
Essentially they miss what’s gone – which is certainly a valid reason to feel down.
However, these sorts of unhappy feelings also have the possibility of contributing to stronger feelings of loneliness and ultimately depression. Chronic depression is also believed to negatively affect someone’s immune system, making it easier for them to become sick or suffer from other more serious health conditions.
How LVNs can help
LVNs are in a perfect position to help clients deal with any change, loss, or stress that may accompany holidays. Many LVNs enjoy being able to be out in the community directly helping clients, rather than staying in school for another few years to earn higher-level certifications such as an RN.
So if someone is feeling bad or uncertain about upcoming holidays, here’s some advice that might be shared with them.
- It’s going to be OK. It’s easy to get caught up in the little details and focus on getting things just right, such as the perfect décor or perfect meal. But people do sometimes need to be reminded that their loved ones and various guests are there for the fun and fellowship not to judge how things are wrong and different.
- It’s OK to laugh. Rather than be disappointed that things aren’t the same, people can enjoy celebrating how different they are. For instance, if someone isn’t able to physically cook a 20-pound turkey this year, it might be fun to have pizza, burgers or something easy to put together.
- People can help. If a client is feeling overwhelmed by all the activity, you can ask him or her to decide which items are required, and if anyone can help take care of some of the tasks. This could be an opportunity to delegate to family members, friends, or even neighbors. Accredited Home Care may even be able to offer the services of aides to help with errands, transportation or cleaning.
- Invite them to remember past holidays. Although recent memories might be a little painful, everyone may enjoy hearing family stories of much older celebrations, like when the client was a child, or even older stories several generations ago. This could be a chance for people to hear stories from the past that they might not have heard before or been forgotten.
- Suggest that it’s time for new traditions. It’s easy to get stuck regretting what used to be, but it can be fun to look for enjoyable things to do this year and maybe continue them in future years. This could be a new food, activity or game that could become a tradition.
- Suggest that they declare a special occasion. Regardless of what it says on the calendar, consider bringing everyone together to enjoy themselves. Create opportunities to break into the ‘for special occasions only’ wine or candy. This also can work even if a client is by themselves for a holiday.
Accredited Home Care invites LVNs or those pursuing this certification to learn more about our opportunities to help clients throughout Southern California.