Tis the Season

The holidays are chock-full of celebrations and family meals.

 Include your older loved one in the planning, from choosing the courses to picking out linens, or ask them to help you cook if they are able. This makes older adults feel needed and gets them excited about the upcoming event or meal with family.

Maybe your loved one grew up eating rhubarb pie on Christmas Eve or they have a go-to family latke recipe. Whatever it is, make sure to include their favorite food or dessert in any meals or holiday celebrations. This makes them feel special and shows you care.

In preparation for events (or just to have a special day out), treat your family member to a spa day—either at a local business or at home. Paint their nails, get their hair done, do their makeup, trim their ear hair or pull You want your parent or family member to have a holiday that is full of connection and love. Many of the professionals and caregivers we talked to urge family caregivers to make sure proposed activities are in line with what your loved one wants. In that spirit, here are a few things that family caregivers can avoid to make their loved one’s holidays more joyful and less stressful.

Instead of directing their days or having specific expectations, take the holiday at their pace.  It allows you to relieve any pressure that you may have placed on yourself. It’s okay for loved ones to be sad or to need space during the holidays.  Let your elders talk about loved ones –it is their way of remembering the cherished times. Even certain smells or touch can create a more relaxed and positive atmosphere. Taking a ride in the car past favorite landmarks or looking at holiday lights in the neighborhood or metropolitan areas can create moments to celebrate!

It’s also time to reconnect [either in person or in a virtual call] and enjoy each other’s presence. While the holidays can be tough for some it can also be a magical time.  It all depends on how you view things- the glass can be half emply or it can be half full!