Caring for an elderly parent or family member can be a challenge, but during the holiday season it can become even more so.
The holidays mean additional responsibilities and expectations, but more importantly, it means opportunity. As a caregiver, you have a unique opportunity to bring a little extra joy into the life of another person, and there is no better time to do so than during the holiday season.
We want to help you make the holiday season easier. Dayton home care providers recommend the following tips for improving your loved one’s experience of the holidays.
Decorate for the Season
Take some time to bring the feeling of the holidays into your loved one’s home.
Decorating the home with simple holiday decorations can help to create a festive atmosphere and make your loved one feel more connected to the season. You don’t have to go all out—just a few simple touches can make a big difference. For example, try hanging some lights around the windows or on a tree outside, or put up some garland and bows in the living room.
You might also try playing some Christmas music in the background to help ring in the season. If your loved one is able to participate, you could also ask them what kind of decorations they would like to see in their home. This can be a fun way to involve them in the process and make them feel more connected to the holiday season.
Enjoy Some Fun Activities
If your loved one is able, take him or her to a local theater to see a live Christmas performance. This can be a great way to get into the holiday spirit and enjoy some quality time together. If your loved one is not able to go out, you could also try watching a Christmas movie at home. There are many classic films that are available on DVD or streaming services, so it should be easy to find something that everyone will enjoy.
You might also try going to a community tree lighting, or taking a drive after dark to view the decorated houses around town. This is an inexpensive way for you and your loved one to spend time together.
If your senior loved one is housebound, talk to local churches or neighbors about having carolers stop by for a short performance. Be sure to invite seniors to family holiday events so they know that they matter too!
Be Proactive About Holiday Depression
The holidays can be a difficult time of year for people who have lost loved ones or who are unable to celebrate as they once did. If you know that your senior loved one is feeling down, it’s important to be proactive about their depression.
Look for ways to encourage your senior loved one to share happy holiday memories and avoid winter depression. The weather might be a bit colder than usual, but you still might try finding ways to get outside and enjoy the fresh air—like going on walks or visiting friends.
You can try to find out what his or her favorite traditions were and incorporate these customs into your celebration so that he or she feels more included on the holiday.
Take a trip down memory lane by sitting with your senior loved one and reminiscing about the past. Look through photo albums together, or describe how he or she celebrated when you were a kid.
Give and Request Practical Gifts
When friends or family members ask about what to give your senior loved one this year, avoid asking for anything that will fill their home with clutter and chaos. Instead, recommend practical items that can help them out during the year.
Knick-knacks are fun for a little while, but unless they have some deep personal meaning to them, they will likely end up in a box somewhere.
Instead of giving seniors gifts that they may not use, recommend gift cards to grocery stores, or even some personal care items. For example, oftentimes, seniors enjoy things like electric blankets and slippers—items that will help them feel more relaxed while at home.
Even hiring a Dayton live-in home care provider can be a significant help and a thoughtful gift for your senior loved one!
Remember, your senior loved one will appreciate any gift that you give them, but it’s important to think about what they will actually use. If you’re not sure, ask them! They may have some ideas for things that they need or want but haven’t had the chance to get yet.
For a truly remarkable improvement to your senior loved one’s Christmas experience, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s, and Dayton in-home dementia care, and our trusted caregivers are dedicated to delivering specialized care for seniors in the comfort and security of home. Help your loved one truly enjoy this holiday season by calling a friendly Care Manager today at 937-353-7997 and schedule a free consultation.
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