Enjoying the Holidays with Seniors
With Christmas only a week away, the crunch time is here. Over the next seven days, many of you will be visiting parents or grandparents and life can get pretty stressful. But as harried as it can get for you, it can be compounded for seniors as they can have fewer reserves for dealing with stress. Here’s how to get through the next week as best as possible.
- 1. Trip Down Memory Lane
The holidays are a time for getting together and appreciating the bonds you have with each other. Instead of popping in a DVD or texting, go for a drive to look at Christmas lights, pull out a photo album, talk about old stories and memories, or play a board game. The best memories and moments often arise from the simplest occurrences, so you don’t have to go overboard with anything. Just bask in each other’s company and enjoy this time.
- 2. Include Everybody
As the years go by, the number of family members increases with an ever-widening gap between the youngest and oldest. Plan accordingly, making sure everyone has a role to play or a spot where they feel welcome or appreciated. Get the younger members to help with simple tasks, like setting the table, and avoid patronizing seniors by keeping both their independence and limitations in mind.
- 3. Be Realistic
When you’ve got family members on the younger and older ends of the spectrum, the number of things you can do shrinks, while the time frame expands. Keep this in mind with everything you’ve got planned over the holidays, as enduring Christmas memories are rarely built on quantity.
- 4. Plan Ahead
The more you can anticipate in advance, the less stressful the holidays will be. Will family members need naps to recharge their batteries? What dietary needs do you have to take into account? Is there room in your home for emergency guests? Do you have an emergency kit prepared in case the power goes out? Snow tires on your car? A defrosted turkey and working oven? Electrical cords safely put out of reach of babies, pets and the elderly? The ideal situation is one where you do as much planning in advance as possible so all you have to do is press “play” on Christmas.
- 5. Change Your Outlook
At least one thing is bound to not go according to plan, and no amount of foresight or fighting will change that. Work these mishaps into your schedule, and the holidays will go a lot more peacefully. And with a calm state of mind and easygoing attitude, some of the “wrong” moments can actually turn into funny, cherished memories (long) down the road!