Celebrating the Holidays During COVID-19 with Your Senior

Juggling the needs of seniors during the holidays can be tough, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens. Try and do what you can to help your aging loved one feel involved and get into the holiday spirit without creating stress for yourself or risking anyone’s health. Here are some ideas for making it easier.

Listen

Spend time listening when your loved one wants to talk, even if the discussion is negative. Showing genuine concern and empathy during a conversation can help them process their own stress and worries, especially during COVID-19. It can open the door to why they are feeling down and inspire other ways of alleviating their stress.

Reach Out

Check-in with your loved one’s religious organization to see if they can offer social and/or spiritual support. Many churches and synagogues can arrange for a congregant or leader to visit a senior in need, either in person or virtually. Just having someone to talk to can go a long way toward relieving depression and feelings of isolation.

Food and Gatherings During COVID-19

Cook traditional food with your elderly loved one, if it is safe to get together in person. Try to make their dining table festive too, by offering to send holiday decor, seasonal colors and flavors.

Instead of traditional holiday parties, call your elder’s friends and/or family to see if they can participate in a virtual gathering. Feeling that others want to spend time with them is priceless for an elder. If your loved one has dementia, consider keeping virtual get-togethers small so they do not get confused.

Include Them

The most important thing you can do with a senior is simply spending time with them in a safe way. This is really helpful during this time of year. Look at family photos, watch holiday movies or home videos, listen to holiday music, or do arts and crafts together.  These traditions may need to take place via FaceTime or Zoom while we social distance and wear masks. Regardless of what you decide to do together, any time you can spare is a precious gift. Most importantly, enjoy each other!

Platinum Select Nursing wishes you a very safe and healthy holiday season. For more information about care for yourself or a loved one with COVID-19, read our article “Caring for Yourself or a Loved One with COVID-19”