The holiday season presents a perfect opportunity to reflect on the value of family, expressing gratitude to those who mean the most to us. Senior relatives spend years devoting themselves to their families, offering comfort and love that know no bounds.
As a loved one ages and requires care at home or in residential assisted living, it’s only right that they are granted this same level of kindness. Ensuring seniors feel involved in holiday celebrations is an excellent way to show them how important they truly are.
5 Ways to Include a Senior Loved one in Holiday Activities
The holiday season can be a busy period, particularly for those with children or a bustling social life! But Christmas is an occasion to enjoy with the whole family, and it’s important to not forget those who have spent their lives devoted to us.
If your loved one has physical, cognitive or emotional care needs, it can be difficult to know how to get them involved in family celebrations. Thankfully, there are a host of ways you can help them feel included – here are 5 ideas to try!
- Drive them to see local decorations or light displays. If they’re less mobile or feel uncomfortable attending large events, a drive could be the ideal holiday activity to get them into the festive spirit.
- Ask them about old family traditions and incorporate them into your celebrations. The holiday season is all about family, and many seniors love to reminisce about treasured memories and family traditions. Ask them to tell you about something they used to do as a child, and pass it on down to the next generation for them.
- Help them decorate their home. If your loved one has reduced mobility, they might struggle to put up Christmas decorations. If you know they like to spruce up their home for the festivities, pop round to help out and make an occasion of it with festive treats and music or a feel-good film.
- Bake cupcakes together for the family to enjoy. Baking is something every generation can enjoy, so why not bring your children along and rustle up some tasty treats as a team?
- Bring them to your home for Christmas, or pay them a visit. For many families, Christmas Day is jam-packed with commitments, but if you can, dedicate some time to seeing a senior loved one in person. If they live nearby, pick them up to spend the day with you, or schedule a few hours to pay them a visit.
Residential Assisted Living and the Holidays
If your loved one lives in a residential assisted living community in Tucson, their holiday plans might look a little different, but there are still ways you can help them feel involved in family celebrations. Here are 5 ways to get creative and give your loved one in residential assisted living the best holiday experience!
- Create a video message. Getting everyone involved in recording a video message is a wonderful way to let your relative know how much they mean to the whole family. What’s more, with a recorded message, your loved one can treasure it forever.
- Organize video calls. If your loved one’s residential assisted living facility is too far away, video calls are the next best thing! If you have a large family, why not organize different calls spread across the festive period, so they know you’re always thinking of them?
- Find out what their community is doing. Many residential assisted living facilities in Arizona host festive themed events and activities in the lead up to Christmas for residents and their families. Encourage them to get involved and join in if you’re able to.
- Take them on an outing. If your loved one is physically mobile and enjoys going on trips, ask them if they’d like to go to a holiday event with you. Festive markets, Christmas plays or religious services are always great options.
- Help them decorate their living space. No matter how big or small their residential assisted living space is, there’s always room for some decorations! Bring them a small tree and decorate it together with ornaments and tinsel, or hang some fairy lights for a twinkling reminder of the festive spirit.
Senior Care in the New Year
The festive period and the end of another year is always a time that lends itself to reflection and forward planning. Many of us find ourselves thinking about how we can offer our aging loved ones the best care possible in the New Year, whether this involves simply reflecting and continuing with current plans, or considering new options like residential assisted living.
With COVID-19 here to stay, 2022 is likely to be another unpredictable year for families and residential assisted living communities alike. But these ever-changing circumstances needn’t mean it can’t also be a year of hope, joy and beautiful new memories made.
Before the New Year, take a few moments to consider how you can give your senior loved one the best shot at a positive and fulfilling 2022. While doing so, don’t forget to also consider your own needs. If you’re a family caregiver, show yourself the love and gratitude you deserve for the incredible work you have done for your loved one over the past year.