How to Prepare the House for Caregiving This Holiday Season

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My family is no stranger to caregiving, and I’m proud I grew up with it in my life.

Here are ten ways to prepare your home (and yourself) for caregiving during the #holiday season, making it a place of comfort & joy! #MyCareGivingStory #ad

I think it goes with the territory of having a big family. My father passed away suddenly when I was nearly four-years-old, leaving my mom as a grieving, single mom of two. She later a married a man with three kids – who had also lost their mother young – and we became a big, blended family. In fact, we became the Brady Bunch! There were five kids – each of us with our own needs – but we all had our own bedrooms. Since our blended family had four family sides, we would often double up in bedrooms so that guests could have a quiet place to sleep. In fact, I think we had house guests more than we didn’t! Some stayed for long visits. With a big family, and a lot of friends, we got to grow up witnessing just how big our parent’s hearts are – to care for so many people without a second thought. I admire that so much. I strive to be that way, if I’m not already.

Here are ten ways to prepare your home (and yourself) for caregiving during the #holiday season, making it a place of comfort & joy! #MyCareGivingStory #ad

In fact, my parents are still that big-hearted and welcoming. We often shake our heads at the way they make it seem easy to throw a holiday party for 60 guests, or to host Christmas (breakfast, gifts, dinner) for over 18 people! It’s magic with them!

My dad’s parents are in their 90’s and he visits them weekly. My mom’s parents both lived to age 100, and my mom was the quintessential sandwich generation until my Nana Jane’s passing. She had the most beautiful 100-year-old birthday party. I watched the makings of her 100th birthday party come to life. My mom, with her big heart and attention to detail, planned it as exquisitely as she planned all of the birthday parties of our youth. My Rocky Horror Picture Show birthday cake when I was 13? It had black and red frosting. The carnival she made for my little sister turning five. The endless pool parties and Bar/Bat Mitzvah decorations and sign-in boards. The parrots that hung on my bedroom ceiling for years after my tropical party.

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Imagine doing all of that & more, and then planning a birthday party for your 100-year-old mother nearly a decade after the last of five kids has gone to college. It’s testament for them both – the one who gave life to the one who gave me life.

We all give each other life. It doesn’t work downwards. It works up and every which way. We hold each other up sometimes.

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From my parents, I have learned so much about how to be a caregiver, and how to set up your home for caregiving. We have many relatives and loved ones who need our help, and it’s because we have so many people in our lives. We’re LUCKY. Our hearts are opened wide each and every day, and especially this holiday season! Here are tips inspired by my family!

How to Prepare the House for Caregiving This Holiday Season:

1 – Is your toilet too low? A raised toilet seat is easy to install! You just need a screw, and no tools. Some even come with handles to make sitting on and getting up easier. You can purchase raised toilet seats online or in drugstores.

2 – You can rent a portable ramp that can be folded and transported in your vehicle. They are available in a variety of lengths and widths, and can be used for the front path, or even from steps to and from back doors and garages.

3 – You can also buy furniture risers! If a chair is raised a bit, it is easier to get on and off. Risers can be used for chairs, couches and beds!

4 – Beware of extra electrical cords. You can secure them so they are not a hazard. Run them along outside walls so no one trips on them.

5 – Include your loved one in holiday prep. There was a year in which my uncle had a hurt back and helped make magic cookie bars. Focus on the strengths they have, and let them help with small tasks. It can be such a happy experience.

6 – Try to schedule major holiday activities for earlier in the day. We all tend to become tired, hungry, cranky, etc. as the day goes on. For someone struggling already, this stress can be higher. Have a time of sitting later in the day.

7 – If people ask how then can help, give them something to do! They really mean it. Let them run errands for you, cook for you, bring food, or stay with your loved one(s) while you take a break.

8 – Try to keep a regular routine, even amid the holiday crazy. You want to make your loved one feel secure and protected. There will be slight changes in the home, but keeping as regular of a routine as possible is beneficial to your caregiving.

9 – Try to fit in some YOU time this holiday season. Use extra people to your advantage with help. Take quiet time to yourself to read a book, take a hot bath, or even take a much-needed nap. We all burn out when we try to do too much!

10 – Stock the home for comfort and necessity! What might that be, other than the small home changes listed above? We’re members at Sam’s Club and that’s where I pick up a variety of Poise® and Depend® products to help my loved ones.

You can get more info about Poise products here, and Depend products here.

I’m still going to tell you some of my favorite things about them, though!

Poise® Liners are specifically designed for Light Bladder Leakage (LBL). Poise® incontinence liners stay 3x drier than leading period-only liners**. The panty liner’s absorb-loc® core quickly locks away wetness and odor to help keep you fresh and dry. Poise® Maximum Absorbency Pads provide even more absorbency to give you the confidence and protection you need for your Light Bladder Leakage (LBL). Our absorb-loc® core quickly locks away wetness and odor, while the leak-block* sides provide discreet and worry-free protection. Depend® Fit-Flex® Underwear is purchased for women or for men, and it features all-around leg elastics and a smooth, close-to-body fit. The slip-on protection is soft, quiet & breathable for outstanding comfort.

Sam’s Club Family Caregiving is a powerful resource. Poise® and Depend® products can simplify your life and the lives of your loved ones. This is your one-stop shop for all of your caregiving needs. You get exclusive benefits by being a member at Sam’s Club, and it the in-club experience provides quality products at a great value. They are carefully designed to offer superior protection and comfort. This is about enjoying the time we share with our loved ones, and furthermore, sharing that enjoyment with people in need. Share that love. As a caregiver, to other caregivers, and to all.

Sam’s Club is your one-stop shop for all things caregiving, like prescription refills, free health screenings, and personal care/health-related products. They can help you to help your loved ones.

Additionally, you can download the Digimarc Discovery app and you can scan anywhere on the Depend packaging, and it will drive you to the Sam’s Club Caregiver website. There is new packaging on Poise® and Depend® products at Sam’s Club.

We can do this.

What are your tips for caregiving during the holidays? Find out more about Depend products and Poise products!

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25 Comments

  1. So many great tips and love all your family photos Tamara! These are all things I do now that my mom is on in years. There really is a lot to think about in helping them feel comfortable so they can enjoy themselves. I also like to have extra blankets around because she gets cold easily.

  2. That cute little bundled up Des! Yes to your list. Making sure you meet the needs of this particular set of family members when they visit is so important!

  3. That last Touchdown shot of Desmond is the best. I think it’s important for a host not to be too rigid about their own routines. I always hated when you’d go stay at someone’s house, and they have a crazy early bedtime, or keep the house at 432 degrees, or frown upon eating cookies and brownies in bed at 2 a.m.

    1. Mmm.. 432 degrees sounds good! We’re a solid 68-69 here! It can go down to 64 overnight and no one complains, until we get out of bed.
      If eating brownies in bed is wrong, I ain’t right!

  4. Great tips, Tamara. It’s important to consider all the family’s needs, regardless of age. I always say, check your dishwasher soap and make sure you’re stocked up before having a party or guests to stay. Nothing worse than running out and being stuck with loads of dirty dishes.

    1. Thank you! Christmas went well this year. It was nice to see my uncle and spend more time with him, because all of the little things were taken care of for his best comfort.

  5. These are practical ideas, Tamara. Caregiving is hard during the holidays and I think trying to set up realistic expectations is key. Also, self care shouldn’t be negotiable.

  6. You assembled some great tips, not only for the holidays. I especially love #5, #7 and #9, probably because they go together so well. And ‘together’ is the magic word – doing things together giving you the chance to have some ‘alone’ time – important stuff.

  7. Your family is so AWESOME!! And I know I say it every.single.time you post a picture of your home, but I’m seriously in love. 🙂
    Also, great tips as usual, Tamara.
    XO

  8. We learned so much about caregiving with my mother in law and grandmother, and even taking care of my mom after she broke her arm. It’s one of the things that makes family so wonderful. Great tips here!

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