New Holidays Traditions can Help your Aging Loved Ones have a Happy Holiday too.
Although many look forward to the holiday season, the holidays can come with mixed emotions for many seniors. Many find themselves alone or far away from loved ones. Others will spend their holidays with family but still reminisce about on holiday traditions they miss. It is especially difficult for your loved ones, if their spouse has passed away. I remember clearly, my mother in-law who would tell me that not only was her husband gone, but her sisters were as well. Helping your loved one through the holidays by introducing them to new holiday traditions will help tremendously.
First of all, no one should be alone on the holidays. But we know that it is not always possible to be together. As your loved one ages, it can be hard for them to travel. Bringing your entire family to them may not be an option due to schedules and or finances. Sometimes the best you can do is make other arrangements to ensure that they are not by themselves during the holidays.
If your loved one lives in a facility, or a complex:
Call their office to see if they have any holiday gatherings scheduled. This way you can make sure your loved one participates. When necessary, make arrangements to ensure that they get there and back safely.
However, if your loved one is living independently and find themselves alone for the holidays, you can call a licensed private Home Care Agency and hire a Caregiver or aide to come in for the holidays and help them celebrate. It can be especially difficult for those living alone or without family close by, but a bit of pre-arrangement can ensure that everyone has a happy holiday.
Here are few ideas to help seniors avoid holiday blues & try new Holiday Traditions-
Get your loved ones outside!
If you are not with them, a caregiver can surely get them outside for a walk. Fresh air will do anybody a world of good. If possible, see if there is a Christmas Village they can visit or take a walk among the holiday decorations in their neighborhood. Getting outside and soaking in some Vitamin D, while enjoying a change of scenery will help clear their mind and allow them to focus on something else.
Have them volunteer
If they are capable, find them a position as a holiday volunteer. Helping others is a great way to focus on the larger issues of life. It also feels really good to give back. Maybe they can volunteer at a hospital. Or a homeless shelter. Maybe they can help collect toys for Toys for Tots among their community. A new holiday tradition may not only help them through the holidays, but can help many others as well.
Create new traditions that last
Time may have passed but traditions are still important. If the old ones are no longer possible, help them create new traditions. Then they can look forward to these year after year. Maybe you can involve them with activities with your children, like baking cookies or wrapping gifts. Maybe they can even teach your children some of their own favorite recipes they baked with their families growing up. This is a great way to start a new tradition that has grown out of an old one.