Keeping This Year’s Holiday Traditions Senior-Friendly

11/22/2013

The holiday season is a time to make memories with your loved ones. Many of our most joyful memories are the ones that ignite our senses and make us look forward to the smells and tastes that we anticipate all year long. Mom slaves over the turkey all morning long, chopping up each and every ingredient for her homemade stuffing and casserole. Now that Mom is getting older, we have to ask ourselves just how much of a toll the chopping, cooking, and cleaning is taking on her. What can we do to help? What can we do to save the joy and adapt our holiday traditions so that Mom can enjoy them just how she remembers, without the stress? Below are 6 suggestions from our trained senior-care staff here at 2nd Family:

  1. Always offer a helping hand.  Arthritis may prevent an elderly person’s ability to participate in some of our favorite holiday festivities (i.e. cooking, writing greeting cards or wrapping gifts). Always offer a hand and suggest other options such as sending e-cards or online gift shopping.
  2. Suggest alternatives to your holiday menu. If Mom is unable to mince and dice those stuffing vegetables like she used to, suggest buying the pre-chopped vegetables at the grocery store where she can add her own spices and make them taste just like they were cut and diced from scratch.
  3. Simplify. It’s always great to break out all of the holiday décor, but lifting boxes and hanging decorations high may be difficult for seniors. Get the family together and help out, or simply decide which decorations take priority.
  4. Make new memories. Some unfortunate circumstances may make it difficult to re-live holiday traditions in the same form every year. If your loved ones are in assisted living or suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, create memorable moments by playing cards or singing carols to your nearest and dearest. They will especially appreciate this.
  5. Communicate. Some of our loved ones may be forced to stay miles away from us during the holidays. Make it a point to use “Skype” or even set a date and time for a longer-than-usual phone call to catch up and remind each other of how much you care.
  6. Get Help. Finding help for our loved ones with a compassionate and dependable caregiver can make all the difference. A caregiver can alleviate stresses by assisting your loved ones with transportation, meal preparation and much more while making memories with the family.

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