If you have seniors in your family, you know that the holidays can bring special challenges. As our senior parents or grandparents age, their abilities become more limited over time and some things may be beyond their reach. Isolation and depression are already serious risks for seniors, so watching a holiday season pass by without being able to participate can be disheartening.
There are plenty of ways to reach out and make sure the holiday spirit is reaching seniors who need extra support.
Offer to stop by and put up their Christmas lights, or drop by and set up the tree so they can decorate it themselves. Better yet, bring your kids and have them decorate it. Ask what their plans are for decorating and make sure they have everything they need.
Cards & connections:
Many seniors have family and friends they’d love to send cards or letters to, but it may seem too daunting. Handwritten letters are a lot of work, and shopping for cards and stamps, then mailing letters might be too challenging. Drop off a box of cards and a set of stamps, take them shopping for supplies, or offer to print off copies of a letter for them to mail.
Shopping and sending gifts:
Whether budgets are limited or not, gift shopping can be tricky for seniors. How to know what’s appropriate or needed? Holiday shopping can exhaust the best of us. An early morning at the mall, or even dropping by with your laptop to assist with some online shopping and shipping might be very welcome.
Meals & events:
Do you have a senior parent who lives locally or nearby? You may have thought to invite them to Christmas dinner, but other ideas are fun too. What about a holiday craft fair, a tour of a light display, school concert, or other seasonal event?
Travel & transportation:
This is a tricky time of year for seniors who want to get out and visit those they care about. They may no longer be driving, or they may have mobility concerns, especially in winter. While we usually remember to offer a ride to Christmas dinner, there are other times it may be helpful. Consider offering a trip to the mall, the post office, or a community event they’d like to attend.
So many seniors want to stay in their homes and keep life much the same as they have enjoyed for years. With little planning, you can offer support that can make all the difference.
Are you already supporting a senior parent and feeling stretched thin? Concerned about being able to be available when needed? More help might be needed. For more information on when to know if the time is right to seek support, take our senior care assessment.
Have questions or feedback on what you just read? Please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d love to chat with you.
~ Senior Homecare by Angels Calgary team