The holidays can be a difficult time for elders and, if you are a caregiver or have elderly family members, it’s important to make them a part of your seasonal festivities.
As many of you know, this is not always an easy task, as various factors such as mobility issues, moodiness, sadness, and, of course, winter weather can make it more difficult to spend time with older family members.
It’s important to remember that this time of the year tends to evoke memories of one’s youth and the people who made those moments special. This can be difficult for seniors who are grieving or not feeling their best. It’s also likely that not being able to meet with family members can cause older adults to feel even more isolated. Fortunately, there are ways to make the holidays joyous for all.
- Reach out to elder family members more frequently during this time of year, either by phone, mail, and, if applicable, email.
- If you can, spend extra time with elderly family members and proactively engage in conversations that enable them to reminisce.
- If you can, incorporate holiday music into your visit (s).
- If you can, include younger family members in holiday visits, as inter-generational interactions have proven very effective for the elders’ well being.
- Invite elders to any holiday gatherings you may have planned, and be prepared to provide transportation. As noted above, the risk of feeling isolated is greater during this time of year.
- When spending time with elders, make note of their well-being and attitude. Empathy and encouragement are important considerations.