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4 Ways a Spouse Can Support a Caregiver During Holidays

Friday, November 02, 2018 | Suzanne Bullock

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Caregiver stress and burnout is a serious problem most of the year, but adding in the stress of the holidays and the pressure to do more and be more can be completely overwhelming. If your spouse is a caregiver and you're trying to figure out how to help lighten the burden, here are a few ideas you might try to get started.

  1. Provide a break from the daily grind. Whether it's simply taking over for a few hours or finding someone to visit while you take your spouse out for an evening on the town or an overnight getaway, getting him or her away from the situation makes it much easier for them to rest and gain perspective on the situation.
  2. Don't add pressure to do more. Even if your spouse has loved hitting every holiday gathering and event in the past, this may not be the year to do so. Allow them to lead and decide what will work and what needs to be cut so that they can continue to do what they need without feeling pressured to do everything they have in the past.
  3. Consider outside resources for a longer respite. If your spouse's caregiving duties have dragged on for a long time, it may be time for a longer break, such as a vacation or staycation. Look at outside resources such as hospice or home health care agencies and check with the insurance company to see if they cover respite care - a surprising number do.
  4. Investigate helpful technology to make their job easier. Will a pill reminder app or digital calendar help your spouse stay on top of everything that's going on? What about automated pill dispensers, fall alert jewelry or GPS trackers that can be added to clothing to help keep your spouse's loved one safe? These technologies help ease the overall caregiving burden.

The holidays can be an extremely stressful time for caregivers, but by providing the help and support they need during this difficult time, you can help them enjoy the holiday season without overdoing it. If you need help over the holiday season to provide more support or respite care for your spouse's loved one, Agapé Hospice is here to help. We can provide you with a range of services to allow your spouse the time they need to decompress and prepare for the upcoming year. Please feel free to contact us today to learn more.

The family of Dianne Bush wants to especially thank Jim Shinta, Kim Hartman and Melanie McAlhaney for their care of Dianne and the support and kindness shown to our family members. Dianne’s husband, Ashley, said “If I had known how much hospice could help I would have requested the service much earlier.”

The Bush family, Charleston SC