The holidays are usually a joyous time for families, but many holiday functions should be modified for aging relatives.
As some people grow older, they may lose the physical or cognitive capacity to trim a tree, bake a cake or spend time outdoors singing carols. Others may find themselves spending their first holiday season away from home in an assisted living facility. Some may have recently lost a close friend or loved one.
The holidays are a time when families come together to celebrate. However, there comes a time when older adults may not be able to do all the things they once could. At this point, family members and friends can find ways to include older adults in these traditions or start new ones.
Tips for making the holidays enjoyable for older adults include:
- Invite seniors to the majority of events but tailor the level of their participation to their physical abilities.
- Keep lines of communication open by encouraging an older adult to use email, instant messaging and social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Skype. Computers make communication easier and cheaper. The main barrier is the reluctance of older adults to try something new.
- Consider the nutritional and physical needs of older adults when planning dinners and other activities.
- Ask adults for input when planning activities.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest information regarding health topics of concern to seniors.
Families should also include older relatives in events throughout the year.
For more information, contact Spring Arbor.