The holidays are a time to spend quality time with family and friends. As loved ones become older, factors such as health issues or senior living situations can make celebrating the holidays difficult. Here are some ways to celebrate with your elderly loved ones, allowing them to feel especially loved this season.
If the senior resides in an assisted living community and is unable to attend family gatherings, try bringing the holiday festivities and traditions to them. Often, older adults in assisted living feel lonely or isolated during this time. Activities such as decorating their room with holiday decor, playing holiday music and movies, and opening presents together are just a few ways to share the holiday spirit. You can also create new traditions to accommodate your elderly loved one. For example, if your family typically participates in an athletic activity in which they cannot take part, plan an additional activity, such as a game night or baking session, so they feel included.
Another way to help your loved one feel connected during the holiday season is to stay social with family. You can set up a regular rotation of visits between local family and friends so they receive constant expressions of love. Allowing them to reconnect with friendly faces and reminisce on wonderful memories would remind them of the joy of the season. If the loved ones lives far away, arrange phone or video calls to help them keep in touch and feel included. Consider sending pictures, gifts, photos, or letters to bridge the distance gap and show you are thinking of them.
If your loved one lives independently or can leave their assisted living homes, taking them out for holiday activities is another great means to celebrate in an easy and safe way. You can do activities such as drive around the neighborhood to view holiday lights and decorations, attend a local holiday play, or even stroll around a mall to purchase gifts. If leaving the assisted living home is not the safest option, you can still have a holiday-filled day together. Here is a list of holiday activities to do with seniors whether at home or out and about.
With any activity you choose, be sure to plan in advance so no one feels overwhelmed and there is enough time to prepare. Keeping your elderly loved ones in mind is always important, especially during the holiday season. Make them feel loved and cared for this month and every month.