The holidays are joyous times that inspire feelings of togetherness, fond recollections of past times and hopes for the future. But the holidays may create certain challenges for seniors. “If you have a senior in your life, the following tips will help you recognize some of these challenges as well as offer ways to alleviate the stress they may cause,” says Bridget LaMacchia, Owner of Comfort Keepers in Lansing, Michigan.
Cooking for Holiday Gatherings
Cooking large meals for holiday gatherings may be difficult for a senior to accomplish. Offer to help plan and prepare the meal together. This takes the pressure off the senior of doing it all alone and provides bonding time for you both.
Traveling to Holiday Events or Parties
Occasionally gatherings may require travel, whether in or out of town. Sometimes, driving, especially at night, may be intimidating for seniors with troubled vision. Offer to attend parties or events with seniors so they feel more comfortable about going.
Dealing with Loneliness and Isolation
Some seniors, especially those who have lost spouses or beloved friends may experience increased loneliness during the holidays. Others may become mildly depressed for the same reasons, which can lead to isolation. To help keep this from happening, visit seniors often during the holidays. Offer to take them to holiday events, bake with them or help address holiday cards.
Some seniors may be on limited budgets and unable to purchase gifts for all family members, or become overwhelmed by shopping at crowded stores. Other seniors may have problems wrapping gifts because of arthritis and other medical issues. You can help by suggesting a gift drawing to alleviate cost burdens for all. Offer to join seniors on a shopping spree or ask the seniors in your life to provide you shopping lists and do the shopping for them.
Hire a Caregiver to Assist
The bustling holiday season is the perfect time to consider hiring a temporary caregiver to help with all elements of holiday preparations. “This might be especially important if your senior loved one lives far away from family,” says LaMacchia.