Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but it can also bring stress and concerns, which is why we have created this article. Being a carer is no regular job and it brings so much reward but there are also challenges you face, which can especially present themselves over the Christmas period.
To help alleviate any stress or concerns you may have, we have created this article with advice on little things which can make Christmas run more smoothly – both in your personal life and as a carer. Keep reading for our tips…
Organisation both for yourself and your service-user will be vital to making the Christmas period easier. For yourself, you should try and plan ahead with as much as you possibly can – whether that be planning your food shops and getting the food in early or ordering presents online to save waiting in busy shops in your downtime. Try to start planning around your rota to make sure you’re not left stressed trying to plan things last minute.
Another important thing to note is that if you feel at any point you need help, ask for it. Without having the experience, themselves, many people don’t realise the impact working in care can have – so speak to your family and friends when something is wrong, or you feel you are struggling.
Following that, you should also speak to other carers. This can be your colleagues or any other carer you feel comfortable to chat with, as it can help to know someone is experiencing the same thing as you. There are support lines available which you can find here that could also help. Speaking about your feelings is the most important thing, rather than bottling it up!
Most importantly is to make sure that when you have time off, you really try to unwind as much as you can. This will be more likely if you follow our earlier tips about organisation but make sure when you are off work, you are as relaxed as you can be. Do things that make you happy and calm you down and try to switch off from work as much as possible.
For your service-user
Christmas can be tough on many elderly and vulnerable people, particularly those with dementia. The noise and confusion of routine can cause a great deal of stress to those who suffer from dementia, so Alzheimer’s UK prepared a video and some information on how to create a dementia-friendly Christmas. You can find this here. If you care for someone with dementia, it would be worth considering this to make sure their festive period goes as smoothly as possible.
If you’re caring for someone more open to Christmas festivities, why not make some decorations with them and decorate their home for them? Just be sure to transition slowly if you care for someone who doesn’t do well with sudden change, but the activity can be a great way to get your service-user in the festive spirit.
One key thing which can make the world of difference is getting things done early. If your service-user needs help with shopping, try to do their shopping as early as possible and get their food in. If family are visiting, make the arrangements as far in advance as you can so that both you and your service-user have a clear idea of what will be happening in the run-up to Christmas.
When it comes to the big day, if you are cooking the Christmas dinner then it would be useful to plan out the day so you know what time you will be arriving, when you need to start cooking and how far in advance you will be going to the supermarket. It sounds overwhelming but if you take the time to plan it out properly in advance, you will feel a lot more organised and will get things done with a lot less stress.
Sometimes last-minute trips are inevitable, so if this is the case be sure to check opening times, whether that be of supermarkets or national health services that your client uses. Over the Christmas period, opening hours can change rather drastically so it’s good to plan any visits and be sure to note the opening hours so you can always get your service-user what they need.
A role like a carer doesn’t come without its challenges, however, working in care over Christmas is one of the most rewarding things you can do. The difference it makes bringing companionship and support to those who would otherwise be without is incredible.
If you think you would like to work in care, especially during Christmas, why not join a team that will support you in your role? We help everyone transition into the best carer they can be, and we can do exactly that for you too. To apply for a role with us, click here.