The holiday season is a time for families and friends to get together and enjoy each other’s company. However, for some senior citizens, holiday gathering can be stressful, confusing and depressing if their physical, mental and emotional needs are not taken into consideration. CareLink.org offers the following tips to make holiday gatherings easier for you and your senior loved one:
- Keep family events short. Sometimes it takes a great deal of energy for some senior citizens to get dressed for a family event. By the time they get there, they are already exhausted.
- Don’t give your senior too many options at mealtime especially if they have dementia. This could cause them to get very confused and uneasy. Simply fill their plate with three or four dishes you think they will like most.
- Do not ask questions like “Do you know who I am?” Older adults with dementia often don’t know who you are, so don’t put them on the spot and embarrass them.
- If you senior has difficulty walking or has balance problems remove slippery throw rugs and items that could present barriers.
- Help them reflect on their past with simple activities like looking at old picture albums, singing a song, or recounting a family story.
Take the time to enjoy the senior in your life. They have so much to offer. I wish you and your family a very happy holiday season.