The holidays are meant to be a time of joy, celebration, relaxation, and goodwill, but when you have a seriously ill loved one, they can also be emotionally difficult. The stress and worry of how your loved one is faring can greatly diminish holiday cheer and distract from what the holidays are really about. There are ways to focus on the joy of the season despite your loved one’s illness. Here are some ways to celebrate the holidays with an ill loved one this season.

Honor Favorite Traditions. You might think it may be easier to just forget holiday traditions and focus on your loved one’s health and comfort. But instead of doing without these traditions, create emphasis on them. Ask your loved one what their favorite things are about this time of year, and celebrate in these ways with them. This is a great way to honor old traditions and create new memories.

Rethink Priorities. While it’s important to honor favorite traditions, it’s also important to realize that things may not be exactly the same this year as they have been in the past. Your loved one may not be able to keep up with the usual hustle and bustle of the holiday season. It might be necessary to rethink your priorities in order to focus on your loved one’s health and quality of life. Keep in mind what they can and can’t do, and maybe change the plans from shopping at the mall to sitting at home sharing stories and memories.

Attend a religious or worship service. If a religious service is an important part of the holidays to your loved one, find a local service to attend with them. If this isn’t an option, bring a small ceremony home to your loved one by singing hymns or reading their favorite scriptures.

Celebrate hospice nurses and volunteers. When celebrating the holidays, don’t forget to include your loved one’s nurses, caregivers, and volunteers. They may be working through the holidays or away from their own families, so include them in your activities and celebrations and be sure to thank them for their care and help.

Enjoy this special time with family. It’s important to realize that if your loved one is seriously ill, the holidays most likely won’t be the same as they used to be. But after all, the holidays are about family, so cherish this time together reliving old traditions and creating new memories.

It will always be hard to feel festive when you have a loved one who is seriously ill. But there are still ways to celebrate, share memories, and make the most of this season.

If you think your loved one needs an extra layer of support this season, Hospice of South Texas can help. Our hospice care program focuses on quality of life—we help your loved one live as fully as possible despite illness. Care is delivered wherever your loved one resides by a team of highly specialized professionals focused on all of your needs, not just the illness.

Call us at our Victoria office at 361.572.4300, or at our Hallettsville at 361.798.2077 for answers and information.