The holiday season is upon us, bringing along its familiar sounds, smells, spirit —and stresses. Our families are planning get-togethers, feasts, gifting, and more, all to maximize this exciting time of year. Regardless of age, children and adults alike anticipate the holiday cheer, sharing, and memorable moments created during this time. Yet, what happens when the older generation is dependent on the younger generation to make the season a joyous and memorable one? How can caregivers juggle the multi-generational dynamic and celebrate with everyone’s interests and well-being in mind? We’ve gathered some helpful pointers that address this sensitive issue and are sure to maximize and enhance everyone’s holiday experience.
It’s no secret that holidays can be demanding and overwhelming, as much as they can be joyous. For family caregivers, juggling multiple ages and needs can prove to be daunting. Therefore, proactive planning is crucial to avoid having the holiday experience feel anything but wonderful for anyone involved in senior care.
To begin with, you should determine what’s meaningful to you, your family, and your elder, and find out what is or isn’t a priority. This may mean having a candid conversation with children or seniors about their expectations or hopes for what celebrating looks like and planning logistics in a way that encourages everyone to be flexible. When everyone in the family’s preferences can be considered in holiday planning, you’re more likely to feel confident in your decisions and eliminate unnecessary disappointments.
For example, you may need to hire a part-time in-home caregiver to help ease the responsibilities, so that you can spend time shopping with the kids. It may be beneficial to rely on home health care staff to spread holiday cheer while you attend your children’s holiday performances or corporate dinner. Alternatively, try thinking about allowing someone else to host the big family dinner or purchasing a ready-made dish for the office potluck instead of making it yourself so that you can take the time to visit Mom or Dad. It’s all about striking a balance between the top few things that are most important. This will ensure that you don’t find yourself exhausted, or even worse, sick in bed, unable to join any of the excitement.
Having physical or cognitive limitations does not have to prevent older adults from enjoying the holidays. You don’t have to plan exciting activities or even leave the comfort of home in order to make the holiday season special and meaningful. It’s about spending time together, feeling included, and enjoying good company – even if it’s done virtually. Invite your loved ones to watch you decorate or wrap gifts via Skype, FaceTime, and other digital platforms. Playing and singing Carols, or looking through photos of past holidays can also create a positive atmosphere and help your older adult enjoy the season. No matter how you choose to spend shared time, be mindful of the pace and noise level to keep older adults from getting too tired or overstimulated.
Additionally, engaging the younger generation in elder care exposes them to the cycle of life and trains them to approach the responsibility with positivity and respect. You may include your children in decorating Grandma’s tree and create a personal and memorable holiday experience for everyone. Your family probably doesn’t fully appreciate how much effort you put into keeping everyone healthy and happy. Involving them might inspire a deeper sense of appreciation for all that you do for your loved ones.
Senior Gift Giving
Everyone loves receiving something special. Somehow, the challenge for most is determining just what to gift each person with. Considering varying interests, abilities, and budget constraints, you can still be sure to gift your elder with something they’ll appreciate.
1. Gifts for seniors to look forward to:
Holidays are a time to spend with others. Even when it isn’t always possible to attend an in-person celebration, there are many virtual ways to continue gifting from afar. For example, book tickets to an online comedy show that your loved one can enjoy from the comfort of home. Treat them to membership in a virtual fitness program designed specifically for older adults if they’re looking for fun ways to stay active. Pay attention to options for online access to media, educational courses, or exclusive entertainment venues for a variety of suitable gift options that don’t come wrapped in paper.
2. Gifts for seniors to use:
A meaningful gift does not have to be large and expensive a hat, slippers, or gift cards are among the most popular gift items that seniors appreciate. A gift certificate to a favorite restaurant or meal delivery service can be the perfect gift for those who enjoy a good meal.
3. Gifts for senior entertainment:
Books, jigsaw and crossword puzzles, and magazines can serve as a great source of entertainment, keep the mind active and prevent boredom, especially if a senior is isolated or homebound. Consider gifting your loved one with a monthly subscription box to deliver a surprise to their doorstep every month. Choose from countless options and themes available, allowing your loved one to enjoy a gift that keeps giving through the year.
As you prepare for your holiday celebrations, it’s important to believe that the season can be memorable for everyone, even with some compromise. Allow yourself time and space to embrace this reality — and then remind yourself and your loved ones of the true reasons you celebrate.
At Community Home Health Care, we’re here to help you. No matter the caregiving challenge, you can navigate this holiday season with hope, peace and joy. Find additional caregiver resources on our website, and explore a variety of timely topics such as medical assistance, personal care, and senior companionship.
Reach out to us today to learn more about our team of caring and experienced personal caregivers, registered nurses, and home health aides who expertly serve families just like yours. We’re here for you and are happy to assist your family at this wonderful time of year. Give us a call at (845) 425-6555 with any questions.
Happy holidays from your friends at Community Home Health Care!