The holidays can be stressful, but by keeping a few tips in mind, you and your aging parents can make the most of time spent together. Think of the holidays as an opportunity to renew connections with elderly parents who live far away, or to become closer to them, even if you live just down the street. With a little forethought, celebrating this special season can become the highlight of your year.
Tips for Senior Health and Happiness During the Holidays
Banish Hosting Stress
Planning, cooking and cleaning up before (and after) a family holiday feast can be daunting, whether you’re young or older. Consider ordering a complete meal in advance, to simply pick up and serve—or even go out to lunch or dinner for your official holiday meal. This can take the pressure off of formal dining at your home or at your elderly parents’. Now you can relax and spend more quality time bonding together.
Save your senior loved ones (and yourself) the anxiety of choosing just the right gift(s), with a secret Santa or gift grab bag. This way, each family member buys for just one other, or you can pile general-interest gifts or gag gifts together, letting each person take one at random. This also helps senior parents save money, which they’ll appreciate, especially if they are on a limited budget. Minimizing trips to the crowded mall also makes holidays more enjoyable, especially for those with mobility challenges.
Remember the priority is enjoying one another, so allow for rest breaks between activities, rather than racing from one holiday event to another. Older family members may need time to regroup in the midst of the holiday excitement. Low key activities that can bring everyone together include playing board games, making cookies, or watching a movie in the living room.
Make Home Safe and Comfy
If parents are visiting you this season, prepare your home for their needs. For instance, give them a room on the first floor of your house, if possible, with its own bath (or at least near the bath). Pick up or move aside furnishings, throw rugs or decor they might slip on, or have trouble squeezing through. Have nutritious snack options and favorite foods on hand to help ensure senior health and comfort.
Let Everyone Feel Needed
Ask your beloved senior for holiday advice about what to include in the holiday meal, or how to cook a favorite recipe from your childhood. Give them a role in decorating the tree. Make sure seniors are included in activities, and never ignored. Doing this will enrich the holiday experience for all generations.
Coordinate with Caregivers
Help maintain senior health by making it simple for your older relatives to stay on special diets, remember their medications, get plenty of sleep, keep hydrated, and get some exercise. Current caregivers in your older parents’ life can let you know about your senior’s recent support needs, if necessary. If your loved one needs help preparing to travel to you, ask a reliable senior caregiver to help them pack and make arrangements.
Here’s to a festive, happy holiday season as you make special memories together with the ones you love.
For assistance with a wide variety of senior health resources and dependable, supportive in-home services, contact A Place at Home senior care in Omaha.