Make The Holidays Merry For Seniors

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,053
    Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care discusses how to make the holidays merry for your senior loved one.

    Mary Alexander: Hi! I'm Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care, and today I'm talking about how to keep the holidays merry for your senior without overdoing it. The effects of aging don't have to mean that your senior can't enjoy the holiday season. In fact, there are five things you can do to make this season less stressful and more joyful. First, is simplify and compromise. For example, if mom used to do all of the cooking and now can't; make the meal a family affair where everyone helps out by bringing a dish. Or if dad gets tired early change the meal from a dinner to brunch. Other ways to simplify or to reduce the number of decorations or offer to be your senior's hands and feet by doing shopping, wrapping, and mailing tasks. Loneliness, isolation, and depression are often common during the holidays. So the second way to keep the holidays merry is to help your senior connect with others. If your senior can't drive; offer to take him or her to visit nearby friends. If getting out isn't possible; consider a visit by using an online video conferencing technology. Sharing and creating new memories is the third way of keeping the holidays upbeat and happy for your senior. Talking about their most vivid winter holiday memories or listening to favorite carols can be very helpful to seniors suffering with Dementia or Alzheimer's disease. If your senior is bad written, wheelchair-bound or hospitalized; you can help him or her have new memories creating a simple video that shares highlights of the season. You could also connect them to online or televised holiday or worship services, or arrange to have a group sing Christmas carols. The fourth thing to do is to manage your senior's expectations and activities. Sometimes doing all of the usual traditions can be too much, especially if your senior's health is compromised. In addition, all of the activities, sounds, sweet foods, and visitors can be overwhelming. Talk to your family about helping to set realistic activities and expectations for your senior.

    And the fifth thing to do to keep the holidays merry is to ask for and get help. If you are doing a lot of caregiving, have someone clean your house or that of your senior, or consider hiring a professional caregiver who can lend extra hands and lighten everyone's load.