4 Ways to Keep Holiday Celebrations Fun With Senior Loved Ones
As our senior loved ones age, we all know family holiday celebrations should adapt to make sure our loved ones still feel cared for and included. But how? Every year can bring fresh challenges, as cognitive and physical abilities change.
Let’s take a look at four simple ways to consider adjusting your holiday celebrations as your loved ones continue to age.
Plan Ahead for the Holiday
If you’re spending the holiday together with your senior loved ones, make a solid plan and do your best to follow through, making sure to adjust as needed for any medical or physical needs they might have. Structure can help reduce any anxiety they may feel about how the various seasonal celebrations will unfold.
If you’re not planning to spend the holidays together, make sure they won’t spend it alone. If they live in a care community, learn what holiday celebrations are happening that they can take part in—and encourage them to participate. If they live at home, perhaps consider seeing if neighbors and friends might be around and open to visiting.
However you plan it, focus on ensuring your loved one feels cared for.
Develop New Traditions Together
Family traditions are one of the most special parts of holiday celebrations. But some traditions become more difficult to participate in as we age. There’s no reason traditions shouldn’t evolve along with us, though.
So as you make holiday plans, perhaps consider integrating new or adapted traditions that are more suited to your senior loved ones’ current cognitive and physical abilities. For example, if they used to host and cook most of the food, maybe offer support so they can still host, but switch to a potluck-style dinner.
Repeat Feel-Good Memories
While creating new traditions is beautiful (and sometimes necessary), is there anything that feels more warm and fuzzy than remembering past happy times with loved ones? Like spending time together watching the same holiday movies that you’ve always watched, baking the beloved family cookie recipe, or driving around that one neighborhood where all the houses are beautifully decorated with lights.
Looking through old photo albums is another way to more directly walk down memory lane together. (A digital picture frame so they can witness those memories regularly makes a wonderful gift as well.)
Help with Gift-Buying and Wrapping
Perhaps your senior loved ones don’t drive anymore, or simply feel overwhelmed at the prospect of shopping alone. But that doesn’t mean they don’t still want to experience the joy that comes from gift-giving. You can help them find gifts for family and friends in many ways, from helping them shop from catalogs or online, or taking them to the mall.
Gift-wrapping can also become more of a chore as we age and lose dexterity. Why not make a day of it as well by bringing over some wrapping paper, firing up a holiday movie, and making hot chocolate?
It can be a challenge to plan holiday celebrations that not only include your senior loved ones, but also make them feel loved and cared for. The good news is that with a little creativity, you can adjust traditions to meet your loved ones exactly where they are.
Hopefully these few tips gave you some ideas to try out this year.
Have questions? We’re always here to talk through how we can best support you and your family.
If you could use any more specific guidance on planning for the future, we’d love to help. Feel free to call us at 855-461-2552, or send us a message, anytime.