Even though the holiday season is commonly viewed as a time that is joyful, filled with spending time with family and friends who are near and dear to us and finding the perfect gifts, for older individuals, it can be anything but merry and bright. A mix of lost loved ones, memories of holidays past, health concerns and more can impact older adults with feelings of lonesomeness and sorrow.
At Harmony Home Health & Hospice, provider of in-home care and hospice care in Salt Lake City and surrounding communities, we care deeply about making sure that seniors feel included in the festivities and enjoy the holiday season to the fullest. The following tips can help everyone enjoy the wonder of the holiday season together:
- Create a cookbook with recipes from all family members. Accumulate all the recipes together, and then make copies of your new family cookbook.
- Go for a drive to enjoy holiday lights in the community your older family member grew up in.
- If the senior has problems with setting up holiday decorations, offer to help! This is a wonderful way to share memories of past holidays and the stories behind different decorations.
- For a holiday that is really relaxing, schedule time together at a local beauty shop or spa. You can even request a local beautician or masseuse to come to the senior’s home if it’s possible.
Safety precautions may also need to be considered for the senior, for a number of reasons: increased fall risks with all of the extra holiday decorations, challenges with following a prescribed dietary plan, and for those with dementia, interruption to routine, additional visitors in the home, and higher noise levels can all cause stress.
Keep the following in mind to be sure your senior loved ones remain safe and content:
- Keep decoration safety in mind. Ensure that there are clear walking paths, and try to make use of simple, uncluttered decorations.
- Lower lighting can conceal things that seniors could possibly trip over, such as extension cords.
- Designate a quiet area for the older person if the enthusiasm of young children, loud music and activities become overwhelming.
- Assign someone to be the older adult’s “buddy” for the event, making sure his or her needs are fully met and establishing a bond that is beneficial for both.
The holidays can certainly be fun and relaxing for all. With just a little pre-planning and additional thought, seniors will enjoy the holidays as much as everyone else, creating new memories that the whole family will take pleasure in and remember for a lifetime.
And, if in the middle of the holiday hustle and bustle you might like the help and support of a professional caregiver from Harmony Home Health & Hospice, provider of the best home health care and hospice care in Salt Lake City and nearby areas, is on hand to help! Contact us at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE to learn more about how we can brighten the holidays for you and yours and for more ideas for fun activities for elderly loved ones to enjoy this holiday season.