Step in to most retail stores in late October and you’ll find the holidays competing with one another. Halloween costumes wedged next to a blinking Christmas tree- on the same shelf with a giant cut-out of a Thanksgiving turkey. The holidays can be a confusing time.
Seniors sometimes find the holidays to be a challenge due to changes in routine, overstimulation, and memory loss. Others experience the holiday blues, especially if they have experienced a recent loss of a close friend or family member. The good news is, with a little insightful planning, seniors can enjoy a blissful, joyful, and festive holiday season.
Preparing the Way for a Successful Holiday Season
Communication is key in preparing seniors for the holidays. Talk to them about your holiday plans in advance so they can mentally and emotionally prepare. Remind them as the day gets closer, so they can plan and get excited. If you’re planning to pick them up for a party or event, make sure to check in with any care providers for a smooth transition from facility to the event location.
Include your loved ones during the planning stages. Getting your loved ones involved allows them to feel like they’re part of the festivities, whether it’s picking out which china to use for a formal dinner, or signing the family holiday card. Ask them for their ideas to make the party an even greater success. Remember, they might have a few things to show you after a lifetime of decorating trees, throwing parties, and keeping the family happy and healthy.
Gift giving is a fun activity for seniors that can bring much joy. Whether they buy a gift online or during a shopping excursion, there is happiness in the act of giving. Help them make a list of recipients, paying special attention to budget and time and have fun dreaming up gifts to give. If your loved one enjoys crafting, now is the time to break out the supplies and start those holiday projects. Whether the gifts are silly or sentimental, the result is the same: increased joy.
Prepare the way for senior visits. If you’re planning to host your loved ones at your home for the holidays, make sure to clear the way of any obstacles like children’s toys or throw rugs. Take a look at entryways, walkways and interiors to check for uneven steps, overgrown plants, and slippery slopes to avoid any mishaps. Planning ahead and lending a steady arm while they navigate through your home or event location lets you and your loved one enjoy making new memories without the fear of an injury. If your loved one is in a wheelchair, make sure to plan ahead for easy access. Consult with care providers to make sure you have any medications and accompanying instructions, so there are no surprises during their stay.
Timing is everything. The holidays can be overwhelming, so make sure your loved ones get plenty of rest. If they get tired, make sure there’s a quiet place for them to rest and relax.
Laugh, enjoy, and create new memories. With a small amount of thoughtful planning, holidays spent with seniors are a true gift, wrapped in laughter, joy, and the honor of creating new memories.
We know it’s early- but we here at Senior Living Management wish you a happy and healthy holiday season. Let the festivities begin!