Celebrating a birthday is often full of a mixture of emotions. It’s lovely to see family and friends, be wished ‘Happy Birthday’ by others and it’s quite nice to be made a fuss of with presents and cards. On the other hand, it can be quite a stressful and overwhelming experience, especially if you’re reaching a milestone age that means you’re a decade older than you feel or if there’s a loved one that is no longer with you who you would normally spend your birthday with. When you have full-time live-in care due to ongoing or complex care needs, birthdays may not be a priority or you may just prefer not to celebrate it because you don’t want to make a fuss. Regardless of the condition that you may be living with or your health requirements, there are plenty of ways that you can enjoy a birthday with your dedicated live-in carer…
Finding the right carer for you
Welcoming someone new into your home can be quite a nerve-wracking process. But we’re here to reassure you that you can put all of your trust into someone that will provide care for you whenever you need it, day or night. They’ll get to know everything about you, including what time you like to get up in the morning, how you take your tea and what your favourite meals are. That’s why it’s paramount that you’re matched to someone that not only has experience in your physical needs and that you feel comfortable with, but is also someone that you can get along with and enjoy being in their company.
Here at Helping Hands, we hand pick carers for our customers to make sure that every box is ticked. So, if you prefer to have another female to help with your personal care but would also like someone who can drive so that you can still visit friends or pop to the local shops, that’s exactly who we will match you with. Overall, we tend to find that customers see their live-in carers as friends or extended members of the family rather than just a carer, and it’s this relationship that can really make a difference to your physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, particularly when it comes to a birthday.
Birthdays with your live-in carer
Whether you’ve reached a milestone age or are in between decades, your birthday should be celebrated (or not celebrated) how you prefer. So, if you don’t mind being the centre of attention and want to enjoy your birthday with your family and friends at your favourite restaurant, or you don’t like birthdays at all and prefer to treat it like any other day – the decision should be entirely up to you. This is where the relationship between you and your live-in carer really does matter because they can help you to organise things just the way you would like them.
From 18 all the way up to 100 and beyond, milestone birthdays can be an important time in your life that marks a passage of time that you may look upon fondly. For some, it’s a chance to get everyone that you know and love together in one room and celebrate; but for others, it’s a more low-key affair. Whatever your preference, it will hopefully be a birthday to remember.
If you do enjoy a bit of fuss, why not ask your carer to liaise with your family and friends so that they can help to organise a party or meal at your local pub? Or perhaps you want to invite them over to your home and have a garden party – you could even ask your carer to help with tidying up the garden, dead-heading the flowers and watering the plants to ensure that it’s in tip-top condition.
You may find it a bit difficult to communicate to your family that you don’t want a big ‘do’ and are worried that you may upset them. It could be an idea to ask your live-in carer to sit with you and help you to explain to them that although you are flattered and grateful that they want to celebrate the big ‘three oh’ or the even bigger ‘eight oh’, you would much rather have a quiet get-together with a handful of people so that you don’t get overwhelmed.
For some, birthdays can be a bitter sweet day, particularly if your loved ones have passed away or you’ve lost touch with friends. Instead of ignoring the day completely, you could plan to go out with your carer for a picnic at your local park or nature reserve, afternoon tea or perhaps a trip to your favourite museum. Sometimes, going outside and getting a bit of fresh air can make a huge difference to your mental state. Researchers have even found a link between being outside in nature and experiencing less anxiety and negative thoughts, and an increase in positive emotions.
If you struggle to get out of the house due to your mobility limitations, why not have a picnic in your garden or an afternoon of all of your favourites – this might include favourite films, music or food. It could be a great activity for you and your carer to do together and could even involve family and friends.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you’re comfortable and have a day as extravagant or as simple as you choose.