The holiday season is in full swing. We know that many celebrations – and possibly some long-standing traditions – may look different this year. But that doesn’t mean all festivities have to stop.
If you are a family caregiver, here are some things you can do to help brighten the holidays for seniors this year.
Help them get into the holiday spirit
While the holidays can be a time of joy and celebration, they can also be somewhat difficult for the elderly as they often experience loneliness and isolation.
- Deck the halls with some of their beloved holiday decorations such as wreaths, garlands and ornaments.
- Set aside time to bake holiday cookies, candy or other seasonal favorites together. You can even do this virtually if you are not able to visit in person.
- Watch their favorite holiday movie.
- Arrange for virtual caroling. Gather family and friends around the phone or computer to sing traditional holiday songs together.
- Drive through your neighborhood to take in some of the holiday light displays and decorations.
- Eat a traditional holiday meal together. If this is not an option, consider delivering a home-cooked meal to your loved one and set up a video chat so that you can share it together.
Help bring back their holiday traditions
Having familiarity during the holidays offers peace, comfort and joy, especially at a time when many seniors feel isolated. Allow your family member to talk about their most loved holiday traditions and consider bringing some of them back this year.
Help them connect with family and friends
During this pandemic, we have seen several creative ways people have tried to stay connected. It is especially important during this time of year to help your elderly parent feel as though they are part of holiday celebrations and family fun, even if you cannot spend time with each other in-person.
With so many ways to communicate – from Zoom to FaceTime to Skype – it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with the ones you love. Set up group video calls, virtual holiday celebrations or individual visits. Many seniors also enjoy receiving mail. Round up friends, family and the kids and have them send holiday cards, letters and messages them.
Social isolation and loneliness have played an even bigger part during this past year, especially among the elderly population. Unfortunately, the holidays can make these feelings more difficult to manage.
Help keep them active
Even in isolation, older adults need to stay active. There are many ways to encourage activity at home during the holidays, including:
- Walking or other light exercise
- Listening to music
- Cooking or baking holiday favorites
- Working on puzzles or other hobbies
- Looking through family photo albums
- Holiday card making, gift wrapping or decorating. Try some of these handmade DIY Christmas card ideas.
Love, appreciation, family and gratitude will be the resounding themes this season. We hope some of these ideas will help you brighten the holidays for the senior in your life.
If you are a family caregiver and you need help tackling all the things that come with the holiday season, request more information from your local FirstLight office. Our extraordinary caregivers can provide respite care services and elder care solutions at home, or in any setting, now and throughout the New Year.
We are proud to CHAMPION the family caregiver, offering empathy, advice, and support for those who provide countless hours of care to their loved ones living with Alzheimer’s. We want to provide a helping hand, relieve some of the stress that comes with caregiving and give you back a few hours in your overwhelmingly busy day.