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How to Enjoy the Holidays With Your Senior Loved Ones
And just like that, it’s the holiday season! Old Man Winter is having a jolly good time, sleigh bells are ringing, and if you’re like many, you’re likely knocking on the doors of family members and spending time with relatives.
Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, or another joyous celebration, here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to seniors and the holidays.
1. Make plans to include elderly loved ones, especially those who are housebound. Mom and dad may not be as lively as they once were, but no matter what their situation, it’s important to try to include everyone as much as possible.
If a senior is able to host a gathering, by all means let them, but offer ways to help – maybe make the meal a potluck so they’re not overwhelmed with planning or cooking, or emphasize that a simple meal together is all that matters.
For seniors who are housebound, bring the party to them! Pile the family and easy-to-transport foods and meals into the car and pay relatives a holiday visit. And remember that many seniors want to feel like they’re right in the middle of everything happening, so let them pitch in on any preparations they’re able to help with.
2. Use this time to check on well-being. For many people, the holidays offer time for those who no longer live close to parents or relatives the chance to check in.
The AARP suggests that holidays are a great time to evaluate your family’s well-being, and recommends things like looking around the house, especially for signs of any safety issues that might have come up (Did mom forget to turn off the stove? Is the handrail in the bathtub broken?) since the last time you visited. Talk to your loved ones and make sure everything’s going well – are they alert and aware? Are there stacks and stacks of unanswered mail or bills they’re hanging onto?
3. Encourage healthy eating and avoid over-indulgence. The holidays may be all about food, from turkeys sugar cookies, but with slowing metabolism and other health issues, it’s important to make sure seniors are eating smart.
Make it easier by building healthy into the holidays. If there’s a big feast planned for Christmas day, maybe opt for lighter meals on Christmas Eve and the days prior. And with every meal, include dishes that fit with a variety of tastes and needs (as many seniors are often on restricted diets), and always have water on hand for everyone to stay hydrated.
If you’re looking for extra help caring for a senior loved one, consult an expert home service provider like Amada Senior Care in Colorado Springs. For more about hiring one of Amada’s staff of 250 (and counting!) caregivers, visit AmadaColoradoSprings.com or call (719) 377-9121.
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