This holiday season could be more difficult and challenging than usual for our seniors. COVID-19 restrictions, while keeping everyone safer, also mean that we all have to spend more time apart, and this is especially true for the older population. But with a bit of planning and adjusting, there are ways you can help your senior loved one enjoy the holiday season!
Healthy Holidays Tips
Visit the past. Ask your senior to talk about their memories of holidays when they were younger. Not only does reminiscing provide mental health benefits, but it’s a great way for grandkids to connect with their grandparents.
Plan for calm moments. While even the most extroverted of us like to have some time away from all the noise of the holidays, it can be even more important for older family members to get some downtime. Studies have shown that noise pollution can have a greater negative effect on older adults due to slower mental processing and sensory changes.
Watch out for the blues. Seniors are suseptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is depression caused by reduced exposure to the sun and Vitamin D. They can also struggle with depression and loneliness during the holidays, especially this year, when many older adults are separated from friends and family due to the pandemic. Make plans to check on your loved one regularly, and schedule visits for them to see friends and family members, even if it’s just through a window. If possible, take them outside when the weather is warmer and let them sit in the sun.
Keep living spaces clean and organized. Remove any clutter, and make sure electrical cords and other items are off the floor to avoid bumps, trips, and falls in both your senior’s home and any homes they will visit.
Holiday Activities to Enjoy with Your Senior
Make your older family member’s holidays merry with these fun and safe activities:
Bake cookies together. Ask your senior to share their favorite cookie recipe with you, or try one neither of you have before!
Make a scrapbook. Have your senior give you old pictures or mementoes, then gather some scrapbook supplies and craft a book of cherished memories together.
Use Zoom to talk to your loved one, or watch religious services together online.
Have your kids make holiday crafts and cards and send them to your senior.
Let your senior help you decorate your home, and help them decorate theirs.
Take a drive! View holiday lights in small towns across our area, including Forest City, Biltmore Village, Waynesville, Morganton, and more, all without ever leaving your vehicle! Visit RomanticAsheville.com for their list of 12 Christmas Towns Near Asheville.
For regional holiday events, many of which can be enjoyed while practicing social distancing, view the “Home for the Holidays” page at Visit Hendersonville.
If you aren't able to provide your older loved one with the care and attention they need during the holidays, we can help! Call us at 828-684-6444 and find out how we can help make the holiday season a bright one for your senior!