Back to Article List
Tips for Making the Most of the Holidays for Your Seniors
Dec 15, 2016 by Tony B.
Ways to celebrate the holidays no matter where your parent live.
Before we get to the decorating and other activities here are 3 quick tips for celebrating the holidays with your seniors:
- Create Safe Quiet Spaces – one room where anyone can go to take a break and get away from the mayhem
- Allow for Some Downtime – be sure to take a break for yourself whether it’s before breakfast or before bed take time to catch your breath and recharge
- Be Flexible – remember the whole point is being together – not following an agenda. If everything does not get done – that’s okay! You’re with loved ones so relax and enjoy the moment.
Deck the Halls!
If your parent lives independently, try to keep the holiday decorating as much like your parent wants it to be as possible.
- Play holiday music while you decorate to set a festive mood. Maybe make cider hot or hot chocolate.
- Make children a part of the rituals if the elders enjoy that and the children can participate.
- Use your parents' treasured holiday decorations. Talk about each piece as you pull it out of storage. If the elders cannot be active in decorating their home, ask questions. Where would they like the ornaments placed? This is especially important if the person now primarily resides in his or her recliner. Put favorite items where they can easily be seen and enjoyed the most.
- Ask if they need help with holiday cards or rituals. Your help in addressing envelopes can be a boost to their moral, making signing cards possible. You can put on stamps and mail the cards. This helps them keep in touch with old friends.
- Be on the lookout for cards and other news they receive from old friends. Often, the news they receive is not good. Someone's spouse has died or is very ill. Someone else is now in a nursing facility and not adjusting well. Cancer has returned to a special friend. You get the picture.
- Also, ask about phone calls. Did they get a call from so and so? What is going on? Watch for signs of sadness and even depression over news from old friends. Perhaps your company is especially needed on a certain day.
- If possible, have the festive meals at your home, or plan to cook at your elders. Take the load of being a host off their plate. Make sure they have leftovers from the meals if they enjoy that.
- Offer to shop for and wrap gifts they want to give to friends and family.
- Help them scale down and simplify in ways that could make their holidays less stressful, but don't emphasize their losses. Ask what they want, and try to make it happen to the best of your ability.
- Encourage your elders to tell stories of the past.
Lastly, there is no need to go overboard on gifts during the holiday season – your company is most likely the most desired item – that you can provide in abundance! If you want to top off the stocking with a small item or two here is an affordable under $25 gift list curated for your seniors.
As you can tell, the central theme of these tips is including your senior and engaging them throughout the holiday season. This is a core pillar of our Interactive Caregiving philosophy – whether you are the primary caregiver for your senior loved one, a family member or are considering a professional caregiver for assistance be sure to engage your senior this holiday season and make it a memorable one for yourself and your senior.
Happy Holidays from Our Family to Yours,
Comfort Keepers of Oakland