The holiday season is approaching and while many people look forward to this time of year, it also triggers anxiety, stress and even loneliness for others. Holidays may be especially difficult for elderly parents because they may not be able to participate as fully as they want to. They may also be limited by health issues or feel sad about loved ones that have passed on or are far away.
There are plenty of events and gatherings around the holidays that seniors can enjoy, such as religious services, family parties, community celebrations, concerts, theater arts, and volunteering and service opportunities. With some advanced planning and consideration of the elderly person’s needs and abilities, they can fully participate in activities that will bring them joy.
Know Their Personality
Many seniors enjoy big gatherings and want to be surrounded by as many people as possible. The noise and music energize them and they can handle lots of sensory stimulation. Other seniors would rather spend their time in small groups of people in more intimate settings. Their mental health, hearing, vision or something else may make it hard to enjoy anything but smaller and quieter settings. Family caregivers should do their best to adjust the activities to the elderly person’s social needs.
Sometimes, elderly relatives with dementia may need extra consideration as they can quickly shift from content to upset. They may not be comfortable going out to a venue, such as a concert, party or performance. Instead, they may feel more secure in their home or the home of a family member. However, it doesn’t mean family members shouldn’t try to take elderly relatives with dementia to holiday-related events. It just means they need to be prepared to leave if it’s not working out.
Time and Energy
Often, seniors have more rigid schedules than some other adults, especially when it comes to meals and sleeping. Family caregivers should ensure that the event won’t start too early or too late, interfering with the elderly person’s energy levels. If meals will be served later than usual, the aging adult should have a pre-meal to ensure they won’t be overly hungry or stressed. If the event or activity requires a lot of standing or movement that the elderly person isn’t used to, that could also cause problems. They should watch for signs of stress, fatigue and overstimulation. Caregivers need to take into account what kind of time and energy their elderly relative has to give in order to determine if the event is worthwhile.
With elderly people, the holidays bring up a lot of memories. It’s important to include some of their favorite traditions, especially if they are living with the caregiver or in a long-term care facility. For example, if the elderly person always enjoys the ballet or a choir concert during the holidays, caregivers should do their best to honor that. If there is traditional food, music, or games that make the holidays special, those should be incorporated as well as possible.
Family caregivers can make elderly relatives feel special and included when they focus on what they
need and what will make their holidays complete.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in The Heights, TX, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.
Our Certified Nurse Aides, 24-Hour Live-in Assistants and Home Health Aides are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also provide the security and confidence of 24-hour Telephone Assistance, so fast, reliable help is always available when it's needed. To learn more about our homecare services see our homecare services page.
Different people need different levels of homecare. To meet the requirements of our clients, At Your Side Homecare maintains consistent staffing levels of caring professionals. Homecare service is available for as little as a few hours a week, or as many as 24 hours a day, seven days a week
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