The holiday season can be depressing for some seniors, especially those who have lost their partners. At that time of year, it’s normal to recall all the happy memories from when both partners were healthy and enjoying life. Sometimes it probably seems that nothing can make your senior loved one happy during one of the most joyous times of the year, but there are some things you can do to help your senior appreciate the holidays a lot more. In Pontotoc and elsewhere in the U.S., there are always some activities you can do with your senior to involve them and help them appreciate the season more. Senior home care doesn’t always simply mean taking care of your senior’s daily needs – sometimes it’s nice to do something out of the ordinary with them, and there’s no better time for special activities than during the holidays. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most appealing possibilities that will encourage your senior to participate and get in on the fun.
Avoid creating obstacles
Around the holidays, your house can undergo some significant changes, mostly because space has to be created for decorating and adding new seasonal displays around the home. Make sure none of these create new obstacles that your senior loved one would have to navigate around because unfamiliar objects in the normal pathways through the house can be problematic for seniors. Changes to the routine are not always recognized, and that can lead to some mishaps and confusion. This is especially true if you’re hosting a dinner or a party, because there will also be more people in the house, and they will also contribute to the confusion for a senior. Keep things as close to normal as possible, and try not to introduce new objects in the home where your senior would normally be navigating.
Bring back the memories
Most seniors enjoy recalling ‘the good old days’ when times were happier, they were younger and healthier. To really get your senior loved one into the swing of the holidays, have a session or two where you invite them to recall those happier times, perhaps by scrolling through an old photo album, or some family photos. Be careful about this one though – while it can certainly recall much happier times, it can also make your senior somewhat sad, recalling the times when their spouse was still alive and life seemed more wonderful. If the trip down Memory Lane seems to be depressing them, quickly switch to an alternative activity that would involve them physically.
Include your senior in holiday activities
Even if your loved one has some disability, they can always contribute in some way to the holiday preparations. There are all kinds of special holiday dishes and treats that need to be prepared, and seniors can help with this activity. Decorating the house might be an activity that your senior would enjoy, or perhaps just helping with place settings at the dinner table. Wrapping Christmas presents, cleaning the house, watching television specials, baking Christmas treats, and singing along with the group are some other ways to involve your senior parent. Anything that draws them into the proceedings and makes them feel as though they’re a part of the holiday festivities will probably bring a smile to their faces.
Be a little more accommodating
Some seniors experience memory loss as they age, or develop other physical limitations on what they can do and how they can enjoy a special occasion. Don’t just exclude them because you think they lack the capability to do something – go the extra mile to accommodate whatever kind of limitation they might have, and make sure they aren’t left out as a result. If your senior has a problem remembering certain things, take the time to refresh their memory, so you can both recall particularly pleasant events from the past. The holidays are all about giving to others, so give your senior the gift of extra understanding during the season, and they will probably appreciate the entire experience a whole lot more.
Don’t forget their medications
With everything that goes on during holiday preparations, it’s really easy to overlook something as small as your senior loved one’s medication schedule. However missing these treatments can be problematic for your senior, and it may cause some disruption to their health stability. Make a point of ensuring that your parent’s medication schedule stays on track because missing some of them can cause serious changes to their health, their outlook, and their attitude. If your senior is prone to depression-like behavior around the holidays, make sure they aren’t allowed to consume excessive amounts of alcohol, because that will only deepen depression. By remembering the needs of your senior loved one through the holidays, there will be a much better chance they will enjoy the season and even add to everyone else’s appreciation of the season.