Making Holiday Traditions Inclusive for Seniors

The holidays are a much-loved respite from everyday life. Gallup’s mood index rates Thanksgiving and Christmas Day as two of the happiest days of the year. As the holiday season arrives, many families have timeless traditions, and newer ones as well, that they want to experience. However, it can be troubling to think about enjoying these holiday joys without including the entire family. As mom and dad age, it can be harder for them to participate in all of these holiday events without getting tired out or overwhelmed.

Consider these simple ways that you can include an older loved one in your holiday plans—without causing extra stress for anyone!

  • Have Dinner Elsewhere – Hosting a holiday dinner is hard work, and too much kitchen work can even be unsafe if you are not careful. Why not have dinner at another relative’s home? If this is not an option, there are restaurants open even on the holiday. If all else fails, cater the event so that no one feels obligated to cook. Reducing this stress can make meal time more enjoyable for everyone.
  • Plan ahead – Those late-night gatherings may have been fun in the past, but late nights are harder with age. Try to plan daytime or early evening events that everyone can participate in without worry.
  • Don’t Cram It All into One Night – Sometimes, we try to do too much in too little time. While the old family traditions are fun, the pressures of keeping a schedule can take the joy away. Spread out the fun. Have a small gathering for Thanksgiving, get together for a Christmas brunch, then enjoy a night looking at lights before the New Year. If you try to do too much, too quickly, everyone will tire out—not just mom or dad!
  • Hire a Babysitter – You may be tempted to rely on grandma or grandpa for babysitting during the holidays, which may not be feasible still with the holidays in full swing, the kids are likely a bit more excitable. Hiring a babysitter, or even a young teen to “help,” can take some of the pressure off of your loved one. Plus, your parent can benefit from saving their might for the fun family events.
  • Scale Back Décor – One of the simplest ways to keep from getting overwhelmed during the holidays is to scale back décor. Home safety is concern year round, but even more important to remember with the holidays. Look for ways to keep the holiday cheer alive without causing a threat to your senior’s safety. Avoiding incidents, such as a fall, by changing out your floor décor to wall items is well worth it.

It’s important to keep everyone feeling loved and involved at the holidays. At CareChoice, we are here for you—during the holidays and throughout the year. We look forward to helping you choose the ideal care solution for your loved one. After all, that is what our trained senior care advisors do best!