The holiday season is almost here! This joyful time can be busy and stressful. For many seniors, it can also be lonely. Family may be too busy to visit or elderly parents may not be able to travel with their loved ones.
If you want to help a loved one or a friend celebrate, try one of these six methods.
You might think about your loved one and helping them celebrate, but what about other seniors in the community? If your loved one lives in a long-term care facility, you may be able to spread a little holiday cheer by volunteering.
You can also volunteer at local community centres or organizations. Many organizations provide activities and programs for seniors such as holiday dinners and events. They rely on volunteers to make these events happen.
2. Involve Them in Holiday Activities
Most seniors still get excited about the holidays. They look forward to holiday activities such as decorating, preparing meals, wrapping presents, and even singing songs. Look for ways to involve your loved one in some of their favourite holiday activities.
If your family has a tradition of gift-giving, involve your loved one. Maybe they can accompany you on a short shopping excursion or help you wrap presents. If they love singing, see if there’s a local group of carolers or a seniors’ choir they can participate in.
3. Invite Them
Even if your loved one ultimately decides not to come out to dinner or to join you on the annual family trek to visit far-flung relatives, they’ll be delighted you invited them. Try to make your activities senior-friendly whenever possible. For example, instead of travelling an hour or two to another relative’s house for dinner, see if someone nearby will host. Reducing travel time makes it easier for your loved one to attend.
4. Make Things Festive
Help your loved one make their space a little more festive. Wreaths and garlands are merry and bright without being too much of a hassle. If your loved one really wants a Christmas tree, opt for a smaller, artificial option.
Plan festive activities for when you visit. Maybe you watch a favourite holiday movie or you cook a special meal together. If you bring the grandkids for a visit, get them involved in a holiday arts-and-crafts project with their older relatives.
5. Take Them Out
Maybe your loved one adores The Nutcracker play. Maybe they prefer a religious service. You might just take them out around the neighbourhood to see how others have decorated for the holiday season! No matter what, be sure to help your loved one get out and about a little bit more this holiday season.
A big outing can be stressful as well as exciting, so be sure to help your loved one prepare for it. They may get quite excited about going to the theatre or out for dinner, but they may also stress about not having anything to wear. Be sure to take measures to help them feel ready to hit the town.
6. Get a Helping Hand
Whether your loved one expresses a desire to have company over or you’re busy hosting numerous events and don’t have as much time to visit, think about giving yourself a helping hand throughout the holiday season.
At-home care can help you and your loved one navigate the holiday season with less stress and more joy. You can take a day off to prepare for the big holiday party you’re hosting without feeling guilty. A helping hand with light housework or meal preparation can help your loved one prepare for company. Or companion care may be able to get them out and about to take part in some fun, festive activities!
There are plenty of ways to help seniors celebrate this holiday season. You might even have some fun too!