No matter what culture, ethnicity, or background you have, the winter holidays are full of fun times for all ages. You want to ensure that your elderly parents are included in any festivities you are planning, especially in your role as their family caregiver. From Hanukkah, Christmas, and Ramadan to Diwali, New Year’s Eve, Kwanzaa, and others, there are plenty of holiday-inspired family and community events to enjoy.
However, winter holidays can often be hard for the elderly for a number of different reasons. They may feel as if they are missing out due to health or aging issues, or they may feel overwhelmed with nostalgia. Physical or mental limitations may change how and when they participate in different holiday activities. Many people of all ages experience depression, anxiety, and renewed grief during the winter holidays as well. You can make a special effort to include your elderly parents in any holiday plans and be flexible enough to meet their unique needs, both physically and emotionally.
Here are 3 holiday tips for family caregivers that want to include their elderly parents:
1. Join the Crowds or Not.
You should know your aging parent’s personality and how they feel about crowds. Are they the type of person that wants to be in the center of a big family party or community gathering or will that be too overwhelming and stressful? If your aging parent is more of an introvert, choose meaningful celebrations with smaller groups or more controlled settings like a concert hall.
2. Cater to Physical Limitations.
If your elderly parent is struggling with certain physical limitations, be careful about what you want them to do. For example, if their vision is poor, attending a play or highly visual event may not be very satisfying to them, while a music concert would be more appropriate. If they are bedridden, you could host the family party this year and set them up in a comfortable chair in the main area so that they could participate and enjoy the company. It’s all about minimizing stress and maximizing pleasure for them.
3. Pay Attention to Their Schedule.
Many elderly people are at a point in their lives where they depend on a fairly set schedule, especially when it comes to meals and sleep. If the event or activity will interfere greatly with their normal routine, you may want to plan ahead. For example, if dinner will be delayed, you might want to bring along a snack or have the elderly adult eat a small meal before leaving. Getting too far out of their schedule can affect their energy levels, so planning things within reason will be best for seniors.
The winter holidays are a time to come together with friends and family and celebrate with food and fun. It’s not unusual for elderly adults to feel left out or depressed during these times. You can make a real difference in how much they enjoy themselves when you incorporate them into planned activities and do what you can to enhance their experiences.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Liberty Lake, WA, please contact the friendly staff at Love at Home Senior Care, today. Call (509) 204-4088
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