The holiday season is a special and exciting time that can also be clouded by stress. Expectations are high to make every event perfect, family members may suddenly be in closer quarters than usual, and the seniors in our life may be worried about how they’ll get to take part in holiday plans. Senior Living Management has a few tips on how to make the most of holidays for seniors and help them feel included in this season’s gatherings.
Tailor Your Plans
Think about your loved one’s abilities, likes, and dislikes when making your holiday plans. If your loved one is less mobile than they used to be, it won’t be very fun for them to sit on the sidelines while the rest of the family ice skates or skis. Include your loved one in plans where they can still participate, and even take a lead role. Maybe their voice is perfect for caroling, or they can teach you how to make a special holiday treat.
Talk About It Together
Don’t just make all of the holiday plans without consulting your loved one. Check in with them to see how they’re doing. The Alzheimer’s Association especially recommends this for people living with dementia. Your loved one will appreciate you asking how they’re feeling about the approaching holidays and upcoming family events. By reaching out and encouraging them to share, you can find out exactly what your loved one feels comfortable taking part in.
Consider What’s Most Important
Think about narrowing your plans down to the essentials to ensure holiday celebrations are enjoyable for everyone. Consider what’s most important to you and your family. Is it sharing a meal together? Decorating? Seeing the children in your family open gifts? Make sure what’s most valuable to your family is the top priority and the rest will fall into place.
Stick to Tradition
As family members age, it’s not necessarily the time to make new, extravagant plans. Your loved one may be overwhelmed by doing something starkly different from the norm. Instead, incorporate the traditions your loved one has always looked forward to, even if they’re simple. If your loved one is living in a senior living community, you can bring some of the holiday decorations they’ve always put up to make their apartment really feel like home.
Take a deep breath. Remember the holidays are supposed to be a time to have fun, enjoy ourselves, and spend time with family and friends. If it helps, make holiday plans as simple as possible. The senior in your life may be adjusting to how holidays feel a little different. There are plenty of ways to help them feel included, loved, and excited to celebrate.
Interested to read more about helping the seniors in our lives feel most comfortable and supported? Visit the Senior Living Management blog.