December 21, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

Senior woman at the holidays

Even though the yuletide season is usually thought of as a time that is joyous, filled with visiting with those who are nearest and dearest and picking out the perfect gifts, for older adults, it can be anything but merry and bright. A combination of lost loved ones, memories of holidays from the past, health struggles and more can impact seniors with feelings of lonesomeness and sadness.

At At Home Independent Living, we care deeply about helping older adults feel included in the fun and to enjoy the holiday season to the fullest. These ideas can help the whole family enjoy the joy and wonder of the holiday season together:

  • Put together a cookbook with recipes from all family members. Compile all the recipes, and then make copies of your new family cookbook.
  • Go for a drive to enjoy holiday lights in an old community that your senior family member has memories of.
  • If your senior loved one has trouble moving around to put out holiday decorations, offer to help! This can be a wonderful way to share memories of past holidays and the meaning behind different decorations. At Home Independent Living can also offer assistance with holiday decorating.
  • For a holiday that is really relaxing, plan time together at a local beauty shop or spa. You could even arrange for a local beautician or masseuse to come to the home if it’s possible.

Safety issues may also come into play for your senior loved one, for a number of reasons: greater fall risks with all of the extra holiday décor, difficulties with adhering to a prescribed dietary plan, and for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia, disruption to routine, extra visitors to the home, and higher noise levels can all cause distress.

Bear the following in mind to be sure your senior loved ones continue to be safe and content:

  • Keep decoration safety in mind. Ensure there are clear walking paths, and try to utilize simple, non-cluttering decorations.
  • Subdued lighting can mask things that older adults could trip over, like extension cords.
  • Think about setting aside a quiet area for the older adult if the excitement of young children, loud music and activities becomes overpowering.
  • Designate someone to be the senior’s “buddy” for the event, making sure that his or her needs are fully met and developing a bond that is wonderful for both.

The holidays can certainly be fun and relaxing for all. With just a little pre-planning and additional thought, older adults will enjoy the holidays as much as everybody else, creating new memories that the whole family will treasure for a lifetime.

And, if in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle you could use the help of a professional independent living home care agency, At Home Independent Living is here to help! Give us a call at (315) 579-HOME (4663) or contact us online to learn more about how we can brighten the holidays for you and yours.