Unlike most other people, if you are a caregiver, the holiday will not be enjoyable for you. Not unless you have already gotten someone to replace you so that you can have a breather. If you will still be working, things are going to be tougher for you with the patient becoming more demanding or wanting to wander around the Christmas tree and there being so many relatives visiting.

I do not know how I was able to survive last Christmas. It was hectic. Really hectic. I had been assigned home care for a Parkinson’s patient and so I would live with the elderly patient who had so many children and grandchildren who came to visit over the holidays.

While everyone else seemed to be having fun, I did not have fun. What with the disorderliness in the house, kids wanting to play with the old man who has difficulty walking and I lifting him up everytime he fell, feeding him because the tremors had aggravated. So I found that everyone else was enjoying turkey during dinner while I was not. So after the tough period over last Christmas, I have come up with a survival guide that other caregivers might find useful

Ask for help

Always ask for help from the relatives. They should not be rejoice while work is killing you. You also need to be clear over what they need to do and not do with the patient. If you detect stress in the patient, ask everyone to move out since they might be wanting solitude but they are not getting it in the crowded place.

Forget perfection and focus on yourself

You do not need to be perfect. Yes, you really do not. It is not everyday when you should be striving to offer the perfect service and try your all to be the perfect caregiver. No, the grandchildren will always find a way to bring disorderliness.

Focus on yourself. Whenever you get help from someone within or without the family, have fun and try to relax. I love movies and as such whenever I get time within the day, I watch one series after the other and this gives me joy.

Have the right tools for work

I have this patient who loves wandering without supervision and they are ever falling harming themselves with injuries. So what I do is that I have demanded that the patient relatives to get bed alarms for elderly so that I can always know when the patient is getting out of the bed so that I can prepare to help them out incase they want to go to the bathroom or take a walk.

There are also patients who have difficulty wiping your butt and so they will need length extenders that will help them reach their bottoms so as to wipe really well. The freedom wand will help you because it has a butt wiper, a shower loofah so that you can wash your back with ease as well as shaver so that you can shave even where you are not able to reach with ease.

Tell the relatives on dos and don’ts

According to caregiverspace, you will find that some relatives want the patient to binge eat on things that they are not allowed to. There are some who will even offer them wine which you know they are not supposed to touched even with the tip of their fingers. Warn them about the same so that you do not have trouble.


  • Trizah Wanja

    Trizah Wanja, Caregiver

    Trizah Wanja works as a palliative caregiver at a missionary hospice in Kenya where she is responsible for taking care of cancer and Parkinson's patients by encouraging them emotionally, spiritually and psychologically. She brings over 9 years of experience into hosiped.