For many, the holidays can be a difficult time. Some people are managing health issues or grieving the loss of a loved one. For others, it’s loneliness or sadness that they can’t be with friends or family. Whatever the reason, the “holiday blues” shouldn’t be ignored. Seniors in skilled nursing care or long-term care communities can be particularly vulnerable to these challenges at this time of year, but there are several things that people can do to help their senior loved ones during this time of year.
- Be inclusive. You may think that your elderly parents aren’t interested in certain holiday events, but there is always a way to get seniors involved in holiday preparations and celebrations. Consider asking them to share their favorite traditions and, if possible, plan gatherings that accommodate their comfort levels and physical abilities.
- Maintain routines. Sudden changes in routine can be stressful, so try as much as possible to stick to familiar routines. If you have a regularly scheduled visit or phone call with your senior loved one, try to maintain this routine during the holidays.
- Reminisce. Sometimes, taking the time to reminisce about loved ones or past holidays can be cathartic and comforting. Look through photo albums with your loved one, share stories or talk to your senior parents about their favorite holiday memories.
- Create meaningful connections. If you’re unable to be with your senior loved ones during the holidays, try to arrange a virtual meetup instead.
- Encourage creativity. What sorts of activities do your senior loved ones enjoy? Consider organizing a family activity in which everyone can get involved, such as crafting, painting, making ornaments or decorating the house.
- Plan thoughtful surprises. Plan a special visit to see your loved one, or consider sending a care package that includes a heartfelt letter and treats that they’ll enjoy.
At Touchstone Communities, we strive to Make Lives Better for each one of our residents. During the holidays, we plan events and celebrations that honor individual preferences and help stave off the holiday blues. We offer short-term care, long-term care, memory support and rehab for seniors. For more information, call 210.828.5686 or fill out our contact form.