It is snowing here today and that reminds me the days ahead can be days of being snowed in or not wanting to get out because it is so cold. Stuck inside with your loved one can be a problem. Of course, you love them, but the 24/7 care seems to close in on us during these days of winter. Christmas shopping and holiday dinner shopping become more things to juggle. What to do?

Plan Ahead

Sounds logical and practical. Have you planned for a family member or friend or neighbor to stay with your loved one when you can’t take them with you? As the weather gets colder and slipperier there will be times you need to go out, but you don’t feel safe taking your loved one, or they may not want to go. Arrange now for someone to be on call with some notice to stay with your loved one. Shopping can be a break for you that way too. Spoil yourself with a special coffee or winter drink. These days some major chains have grocery delivery, but you will need to get on their list in plenty of time. Check your local yellow pages for people or agencies that will shop for you.

Does your loved one require electricity for any of their equipment that is vital to their care? Letting your utility company know about your need would put you at the top of their list of where to start in case of a power outage due to ice or storms. Do you have medical supplies such as dialysis fluid that needs to be kept at specific temperatures? They may need to be stacked against an inside wall to assure they are at the right temps in case of a power outage and away from west walls that get the brunt of the cold winter air.

Family Times Are Good Times

Holidays can be difficult. If the care receiver is used to hosting the festivities, they may become depressed that they are not able to be in the kitchen or make their special recipes with the ease they remember. Making things ahead of time and doing it together can start a new tradition. Just remember this is new for them and they may not be willing to admit they cannot do it alone. Or if you, the caregiver, are the hostess you may be worried about adding the extra responsibility even though you want to be in the middle of everything as always. Think about delegating to other family members a little more than you usually do.

Family times are for enjoying the family, not being perfect. Each holiday becomes a family memory. Stop and think about how to make this holiday a joyful memory.

Winter Blues or Cozy Times

Being shut in during the winter can cause cabin fever or cozy memories. When I was caring for my husband, we would often read a book together. Usually, I read because he was legally blind and it was just easier. But if eyesight is good, you can share the reading. Put on some relaxing music or music you enjoy. Get a crossword puzzle and fix hot chocolate or other favorite drink and work together. Adult coloring books are everywhere, and many enjoy coloring. Flower or beach pictures can ease the days of snow in January. Invite the grandkids over and bring out the old photos and put them in albums together and talk about who is in the picture and some happy memories or other things you want them to know. This may be a great way to introduce them to family members or friends they have not met or can’t remember.

Be creative and think of ways you can do some of the things you have enjoyed in the past.

Holidays and Families Are to Be Enjoyed

No matter what you come up with to pass the winter days of cold, snow and cloudy skies, everything will become a memory one day. How do you want to remember these days?
Truthfully even if we are not caregivers, this is something to remember. I remember several years ago a family member had wonderful Christmas parties. Their house was perfectly decorated, and the food was outstanding. It always felt like we had walked into Better Homes and Gardens Christmas issue. Because the whole family was there and there was no way to match that layout, I kind of back out of inviting family over for Christmas. After a couple of years, our kids said they wanted to have Christmas again at our house. I don’t think it is the traditions or the flamboyant that is as important as getting together and sharing love for each other. Make memories!