Community Blog

How to Include Your Senior Loved Ones in the Holidays

By Patti Soisson

The holidays are some of the most fun-filled times of the year, but they can also be quite stressful. For some, they are even lonely. If you provide in-home care for an aging loved one, you may be wondering how you can ensure they enjoy the holidays the same way they did in their youth. As a caregiver, you can use the following ideas to help them feel loved and included.

 

Host the Holidays in Their Home

Many seniors still live alone and take care of themselves but find travel more difficult than it used to be. If your loved one has the space, consider hosting the holidays in their home. You and other family members can cook the meal, bake the desserts, decorate, clean or do anything else necessary to get the space ready for guests so that your loved one doesn’t feel pressured to do it all alone. This way, he or she can enjoy the holidays with family without worrying about going out into the cold or traveling a long distance if it’s uncomfortable.

 

Use Technology to Include Loved Ones 

Unfortunately, sometimes distance and lack of travel funds prevent you from being near your older relatives during the holidays. While nothing is quite the same as spending time together in person, technology has made it so that your relatives don’t need to miss out on family time completely. Enlist someone in their area to help them set up a laptop, tablet or even a large-screened smartphone with Skype or another video technology service. Your loved one can then visit with family in the form of video chats during the holidays.

 

Help With Holiday Errands

One of the biggest challenges for many seniors during the holiday season is taking care of their errands and chores. Consider how you can help your loved one to make their holiday less stressful and more enjoyable. Consider some of these ideas:

 

  • Addressing and mailing holiday cards
  • Taking your loved one shopping or helping him or her shop online
  • Helping your relative cook, bake or clean
  • Wrapping gifts or decorating his or her home

 

Modify Traditions

Sometimes your aging relatives simply can’t participate in the same traditions they used to. Instead of forgoing them altogether, modify them. Did your loved one once host a huge meal? Make restaurant reservations and help them bake desserts instead. Perhaps they used to run the local toy drive. Help them purchase toys to donate instead. By modifying traditions, you keep your relative active and engaged without putting too much stress on him or her.

 

Perhaps you’re in a situation that prohibits you from helping your aging relatives as much as you’d like during the holidays. Consider contacting a home health service such as Home Helpers. They can assist by helping with chores, providing companion care and much more.