Even though the holiday season is typically thought of as a time that is joyful, filled with spending time 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 past, health concerns and more can affect older adults with emotions of isolation and unhappiness.
At Stowell Associates, we care deeply about making sure older adults feel included in the celebrations, are able to enjoy the holiday season to the fullest and ensure holiday senior difficulties are minimized. These suggestions can help the whole family enjoy the wonder of the holiday season together:
- Develop a cookbook with recipes from all family members. Gather all the recipes, and then make copies of your new “family cookbook.”
- Take a drive to enjoy holiday lights in an old community in which your senior family member has memories.
- If your senior loved one has difficulty moving around to put out holiday decorations, offer to assist! This is a fantastic way to share memories of past holidays and what different decorations may mean. Stowell Associates can also provide help with holiday decorating.
- For a holiday that is particularly relaxing, arrange for 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 considerations may also come into play for your senior loved one, for a variety of reasons: increased fall risks with all of the extra holiday décor, challenges with adhering to a recommended dietary plan, and for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia, disruption to routine, extra visitors to the home, and increased noise levels can all cause distress.
- Keep the following in mind to be sure your senior loved ones stay safe and content:
- Keep decoration safety in mind. Ensure that there are clear walking paths, and try to use simple, uncluttered decorations.
- Dim lighting can mask things that older adults could trip over, such as extension cords.
- Give consideration to setting aside a quiet area for the senior if the excitement of young children, loud music and activities becomes overwhelming.
- Designate someone to be the senior’s “buddy” for the event, ensuring his or her needs are fully met and creating a bond that is wonderful for both.
- The holiday season can certainly be fun and relaxing for all. With just a little advance planning and extra thought, older individuals will enjoy the holidays as much as everyone 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 assistance of a professional caregiver, Stowell Associates, the Milwaukee dementia care experts, are here to help! Contact our senior care team in Milwaukee, WI to learn more about how we can brighten the holidays for you and yours.