The holidays can be a difficult time for elders and, if you have elderly relatives, it’s important to make sure that they feel a part of your seasonal festivities.
As many of you know, this is not always an easy task, as various factors such as mobility issues, moodiness, sadness, and, of course, winter weather can make it more difficult to spend time with older family members.
It’s important to remember that this time of the year tends to evoke memories of one’s youth and the people who made those moments special. This can be difficult for seniors who are grieving or not feeling their best. It’s also likely that not being able to meet with family members can cause older adults to feel even more isolated. Fortunately, there are ways to make the holidays joyous for all.
- Proactively reach out to elder family members by phone, mail, and, if applicable, email throughout the holidays
- If you can, spend time with elderly family members and proactively engage in conversations that enable them to reminisce.
- If you can, incorporate holiday music into your visit (s)
- If you can, include younger family members in holiday visits, as inter-generational interactions have proven very effective for the elders’ well being
- When spending time with elders, make note of their well-being and attitude. Empathy and encouragement are important considerations.