What do the holidays mean to your family?
Perhaps the holidays are about delicious homemade food around the dinner table, mulled cider and board games lit by twinkling fairy lights, or the joy of having time to catch up with extended family. While it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle, bustle, and high expectations of the season, the truly special part of the holidays is spending quality time with the people we love most.
If you’re a family caregiver supporting a senior parent or relative, discussing their preferences for holiday activities may be helpful. Many seniors struggle with feelings of loneliness or stress at this time of year, particularly if health conditions or reduced mobility are making them less able to take part in the usual family traditions.
5 Simple Ways to Make the Holidays Special for a Senior Relative
1.Offer practical support. For example, if your loved one can no longer drive, you can offer to drive them to family events or social occasions with friends. Alternatively, you might help with festive errands like buying and wrapping gifts or sending greeting cards.
2.Modify family traditions to help them feel included. If you have a social family get-together each year, but your loved one has poor mobility and struggles to leave their home, why not bring the family to them instead?
3.Get nostalgic. Many seniors enjoy reminiscing during the holidays, and it’s something the whole family can do together. Watch their favorite festive movie or hang sentimental decorations, reflecting on the fond memories each piece brings up.
4.Focus on the important things. For seniors who have chronic health conditions, dementia, or poor mobility, the myriad social events associated with the holidays can be daunting. If your relative prefers a quieter holiday season, consider which traditions they love most. Remove the extra pressure, simplify the celebrations, and focus on what truly matters.
5.Help them feel the festive spirit. While the holidays are a joyful time of year, they can be difficult for seniors. If your loved one has ongoing health issues or has lost their spouse, siblings, or friends during the year, they might feel an extra sense of loss. Even if they don’t feel like extravagant celebrations, there are small things you can do to make special memories together. Something as simple as spending a cozy night looking through old photos with a glass of mulled wine can be a lovely, low-key activity to enjoy together.
Signs Your Loved One May Need Extra Support
With more social gatherings to travel to and many hours spent together, the holidays are a common time for family caregivers to notice changes in a senior loved one’s health. Here are just a few indications that your parent or relative may benefit from a higher level of senior care:
- Poor hygiene. Lack of grooming, untidy hair, nails, or body odor may suggest that your loved one can no longer independently carry out personal care activities like bathing and grooming.
- Out of character behavior. Is your loved one irritable or does he have unusual mood swings? Uncharacteristic behavior and confusion can be signs of an underlying health condition. If you’ve noticed changes in your relative’s personality, consult with their physician.
- Trouble moving around. Are they moving differently or unnaturally, struggling to walk, or in pain when moving around? Reduced mobility is common among seniors, and an unsuitable home environment may increase their risk of experiencing a fall.
- Noticeable weight loss. Unintentional weight loss is prevalent among seniors and is experienced by around a quarter of older adults. While there are many potential reasons for unexplained weight loss, it may indicate that your loved one struggles to prepare or cook meals.
- A disorderly home. If your parent or loved one’s home is unusually dirty or disorganized, they might need help with the upkeep of home maintenance and housekeeping.
Why Choose Assisted Living?
Assisted living offers unique senior care that allows residents to remain highly independent. This level of care is ideally suited to seniors who need some practical support with day-to-day tasks but don’t require nursing care. In assisted living, seniors may live in their own apartment, suite, or within a small home shared with other residents.
This type of residential senior living offers flexible activities of daily living (ADL) support tailored to each resident’s unique needs. For example, while some assisted living residents require personal care tasks like bathing, grooming, toileting, and getting dressed, others may need a little support with getting from place to place.
With this personalized approach to care, seniors can maintain their independence, purpose, and autonomy. Alongside 24/7 ADL support, assisted living communities like New Hope Senior Living serve fresh meals and snacks to residents each day and host enriching on-site activities and social occasions.
A Day in the Life of a New Hope Senior Living Resident During the Holidays
The holidays are a wonderful time of year at New Hope Senior Living, one in which our residents enjoy active days, cozy evenings, and an array of festive hobbies and social pursuits. A typical day for one of our residents at this time of year may look like this:
8.30 am: Awake at their leisure and shower (with dignified support, if needed).
9.00 am: Enjoy a relaxed breakfast and coffee with friends.
11.00 am: Participate in some physical activity, stroll around our 18-acre grounds, or join an invigorating yoga class.
1.00 pm: After a light lunch, take an afternoon nap, enjoy arts and crafts, socialize with other residents, or catch up with visiting family members.
5.00 pm: Enjoy a hearty and festive farm-to-table dinner freshly prepared by our chef.
6.00 pm: Attend an on-site holiday celebration with other residents, staff, and family.
9.00 pm: Retreat to their private bedroom to relax or read before falling into a slumber feeling content and fulfilled.
If you notice signs that your loved one may benefit from assisted living over the holidays, call us today to arrange a personalized New Hope Senior Living tour. We look forward to meeting you!