Making the Most of Holidays with Elderly Loved Ones
The holiday season is a time where we will all soon be wrapped up in the holiday spirit, religious celebrations, gift giving, family gatherings, and too much food. Even though the holidays can be a joyous time it can also be overwhelming and confusing for our elder seniors. At different times during the holidays, we all experience some level of stress, possibly from last minute shopping, arranging the family get-together, or even family conflicts.
Elderly loved ones can sometimes feel left out during the holidays, as their physical and mental digression can cause family members to exclude them from activities like holiday shopping or putting up decorations. It is important that everyone understands the unique needs of many seniors at this time of year.
Holiday Challenges for Seniors and Their Families
It is difficult for seniors to even participate with the family during the holidays. Sometimes the senior is physically unable to join in the holiday festivities. Often they live alone, which requires the family to make an out-of-the-way trip to see mom or dad. It is important to discuss with the family how they would like to involve their loved one, and for Right at Home Orlando to provide the most appropriate care possible. It might be as simple as providing a few extra hours of service or assisting with the preparations in order for all family members to relax and enjoy the special days around the holidays with their loved one.
Then there is the emotional side of the holiday season for the senior. Although the senior has seen many, many holidays and experienced countless family gatherings, the senior is most likely feeling a sense of loss as he/she understands that this may be his/her last holiday with family.
With the family’s support it might be good for the senior to reminisce about the past gatherings at the holidays. Take time to leaf through those old photo albums and talk about the old times. Although this may be a bit sad, it does pull together how full their life has been and what a wonderful legacy they have created with producing such a special family and such wonderful family memories. Continually acknowledge to your loved one what a great family he/she has and how proud he/she must be of them all.
Planning Ahead For Holidays with Older Relatives
Plan ahead and make the most of the holiday season. Anticipate the needs of your elderly loved ones. De-clutter your home reducing the chances of falls.
A lot of meal preparation can be done while sitting. Let your loved one help out and feel included by folding napkins or adding the finishing touches to the meal. Also be mindful and help your elderly loved ones remember their medication and not get too wrapped up in the festivities by enjoying too much alcohol. If you cannot be with your loved one take the time to plan time to Facetime or Skype.
A Right at Home Orlando caregiver can be the key to much of this effort. She can use her special relationship to the senior to offer support, kindness, respect, and love at a time when the senior’s family may be wrapped up with the younger generation, which can be quite demanding at this time of year.
It can be a very special time for the entire family to share the wonderful memories of the past. Holidays are made for memories. So go and make some more this holiday season.