5 ways to make holidays enjoyable as possible for you and your loved ones
The holidays can be a challenging and emotional time for the elderly and caregivers alike. Some ideas to help make it the as enjoyable as possible for you and your loved ones include:
- * Include your family member in event and/or meal planning*
The holidays are full of celebrations and family meals. Include your older loved one in the planning, from choosing the courses to picking out linens, or ask them to help you cook if they are able. Your home care team can assist you leading up to the season.
- Make some of their favorite meals or treats
Whatever it is, make sure to include their favorite food or dessert in any meals or holiday celebrations. Talking about the past and it's traditions is great for memory. This makes them feel special and shows you care.
- *Help them get ready *
In preparation for events, help your family member look their best! Paint their nails, get their hair done, do their makeup, trim their ear hair or pull out their favorite attire. If they are in an senior care or assisted living facility, they may have resources there to help you.
- Look at family photo albums
Spend time looking at photo albums of holidays past. You and your loved one can reflect upon memories and share a safe space to remember happy thoughts. And if there are pictures that bring up tears or grief, that’s OK, too.
- Revive old family traditions
Holiday traditions are a great way to honor the past in a joyful way. Maybe your loved one’s family always played dreidel or drove around to see holiday lights. Maybe they watched a particular holiday movie on Christmas Eve. Think of things you remember doing with your loved one while you were growing up or that you know of their own childhood traditions. You’ll want to ask them if they’d like to engage in those activities before doing them, but the odds are high that your loved one will be excited to relive those happy moments, even if just in their thoughts. Just involve them in any ways they are capable of.
There’s no denying that celebrating holidays with an older loved one can be emotional and maybe even stressful. But hopefully, these insights and tips help you navigate this time of year with a little more grace and joy. The key is to provide a safe and loving space for your older loved one to enjoy themselves in their own way, and provide you peace knowing that you improved their holiday experience.