Aging and the holidays often work at cross purposes. Frailty and illness can prevent seniors from shopping or going to holiday services despite their desire to do so. Being housebound can lead to anxiety and depression at any time of the year but those feelings can be exacerbated during the holidays. It is easy for housebound seniors to feel that all the world is celebrating while they remain at home.
As a caregiver, there are things that you can do to help your loved one keep family traditions and enjoy the holiday season even if they can’t leave their home. The key is to make sure that the activity matches their interests. Here are some ideas on how you can bring the holidays to your loved one in ways that will please them and not create additional work for you. Each one should be tailored to the senior’s physical and cognitive abilities.
Wrapping: If your loved one enjoys wrapping gifts, take the wrapping supplies and gifts to their home. Make sure the gifts aren’t breakable. Depending upon the senior’s motor skills, you may have to supervise the cutting of the wrapping paper, or you can bring it in pre-cut sheets. Ribbon can be pre-cut as well. It’s important to keep in mind that the goal of this exercise isn’t perfection, so if there are gifts you want wrapped in a particular way, they should not be included in this activity.
Singing: If the senior in your care loves Christmas carols, bring them into the home. CDs, DVDs, web-based, streaming, and online music makes carols readily available. Make sure the music plays during the day. Call your local place of worship to see if volunteers are available to go to the home and sing with your senior. Home Care Assistance caregivers can do that too. We will bring holiday activities to your loved one to help them celebrate at home.
Gathering with loved ones: This is perhaps one of the most significant obstacles of the holidays. Frail seniors may find it difficult to ride in a car for any length of time, and flying is a rigorous exercise. However, technology makes it easier for friends and family members who are scattered across the country and/or the globe to gather together. Your laptop and Skype, or a similar technology, will bring you all into the same room. It’s a good idea to schedule these visits more regularly during the holidays so that your loved one can watch their grandchildren decorating the tree, lighting the menorah or opening their gifts.
Home Care Assistance can help to raise the spirits of your loved one during the holidays and throughout the rest of the year. Our caregivers are trained in our proprietary Balanced Care Method™, an evidence-based program built on studies that demonstrate that only one-third of our longevity is based on genetics and two-thirds on lifestyle factors within our control. Our Balanced Care Method training teaches caregivers the importance of nutrition, exercise, social ties, mental and spiritual health, and how all these things can contribute to longevity and wellbeing for seniors and individuals of all ages.
Home Care Assistance can help your loved ones to experience the fullness of holiday traditions and the comfort and happiness that comes with that.
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