(Thursday, November 20, 2014) - During the busy holiday season, 42 million caregivers in the U.S. will care for parents and older loved ones. Right here in New Hampshire over 268,000 caregivers already feel overwhelmed with daily responsibilities, leaving them vulnerable when the stress of the holidays arrive. Many think that caregivers are only paid health professionals, providing full-time care to someone in need of daily help, when in reality, most are unpaid family caregivers who are also working and managing their own families at the same time. Turning to unhealthy behaviors â€“ drinking more eggnog, eating more sweets, getting fewer hours of shut-eye, and forgoing exercise â€“ is not the answer.
Amy Goyer, AARPâ€™s Family and Caregiving expert, says there are resources to help.
As caregivers, we give and give and give, and during the holidays we give even more! All that giving can add up to high stress levels or even full-on burnout that creeps up on Us before we know it. Be aware of emotional ups and downs, fatigue levels, foggy thinking, inability to sit still or the opposite â€“ feeling frozen and unable to get anything done. (:20)
Perfection is not the goal of the holidays â€” joy is! Cramming more into your already busy schedule can push you over the edge, so consider what is really doable before you commit to more. Above all, making good memories with your loved ones is especially valuable at this time. (:15)
To find more tips for caregivers over the holidays, visit www.aarp.org/nh.