The holiday season is a special time of year for everyone, but seniors can sometimes feel less welcomed to participate in the fun. It is common for seniors to have kids who have grown up and moved away, which often presents the challenge of gathering the whole family together during the holidays. If you have a special senior in your life, there are things you can do to make the holiday time a special part of their lives. With just a few simple moves, you can help seniors enjoy the holiday season to the fullest. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Ask the senior to help you put up holiday decorations. From trimming the tree to putting candles in the windows, there are plenty of things seniors can do to make the home more festive.
- Include decorations with an emotional connection to your senior loved ones. Bring the Christmas box down from the attic, pull each decoration out and talk about its history and what it means to you and your senior relative.
- Host a sing-along or story night as the holidays approach. Whether you go caroling around the neighborhood or just sing your favorite Christmas carols at home, the whole family will have lots of fun. Top the night off by telling your favorite holiday stories and sharing some special memories.
- Create a video keepsake. Use modern video technology to make a special keepsake for the senior in your life. Record family members telling stories and singing songs and play the finished recordings as part of your holiday celebration.
- Take a drive to see holiday lights and decorations. Seniors tend to miss out on this time-honored part of the holiday season, especially if they have retired from driving themselves. If a drive is not feasible, you can take or download pictures of holiday displays and share them with senior family members.
- Create a display of holiday cards and greetings. Invite seniors to help with the arrangement of the cards.
- Invite long-distance family members and friends to call as the holiday season approaches. Now is the perfect time to reach out to people who have not been heard from recently.
- Offer to help address envelopes and mail cards for your special senior. Offer help with wrapping and shipping gifts to make sure all those presents arrive on time.
- Share special holiday recipes and help plan menus for the season. Consider creating a family cookbook using your favorite recipes.
- Look for creative twists on holiday cookies and treats. You can turn a peanut butter cookie into something special by adding pretzel “antlers” and a red gumdrop “nose” to create Rudolph cookies.
- Treat seniors like special guests. They are part of the family and should be welcomed as such. If an elderly loved one lives with you, give them the chance to participate in family activities – from Christmas concerts to seasonal plays.
- If your elderly loved ones reside in senior living communities, carve out some time during the holiday season to visit them in their own homes. Volunteering in senior living communities is especially appreciated during this time of year to aid in preparation for festivities that they might host as well.
- Go with the flow. Holiday gatherings can be overwhelming for anyone, so if you encounter a speed bump during your festivities, just remember how special each moment really is. Always do your best to make a positive difference in the life of your elderly loved one.
Give the gift of time, love and attention. Loving and caring for elderly friends or family members is more meaningful than material gifts.
Cherish every moment with your elderly loved ones, especially when the holiday season rolls around. The holiday season is all about friends and family, and it is the perfect time to reconnect with your senior loved ones and benefit from their wisdom and experience.