The holidays are synonymous with family. With family as the main ingredient of the holiday season, this time of the year can also be the loneliest for many people, especially our aging loved ones. The hectic year is soon coming to a close and people are at full steam ahead with holiday planning. All the hard work is fruitful and rewarding, as nothing quite compares with a successful holiday gathering that everyone will remember and cherish.
This holiday season, with a little prep work, you can plan the gathering of the decade that is inclusive of every family member, no matter their age or special needs.
A direct line runs between socialization and healthy senior living. Isolated seniors, for example, can be prone to physical, emotional or cognitive health complications. Studies show that steady face time with family members and friends allows seniors to enter their life’s next chapter with harmony, a tone-setting factor in healthy and happy aging. Regular social rhythms with family members and friends keep life’s music going one smile and positive interaction at a time. A fulfilling social life can also result in a range of documented health benefits.
Seniors living their best life can expect reduced levels of stress, anxiety and depression and boosted self-esteem and cognitive health.
Through these engaging and all-hands-on-deck holiday activities, the entire family can continue to contribute to their loved one’s graceful aging.
Help with holiday decorations
It’s easy to involve your aging loved ones. You can start with idea gathering and see what kind of input they have on holiday lights, lawn decorations, wreath designs and the home’s centerpiece. If you’re decorating a tree, they can help with hanging ornaments or constructing ornaments of their own with the kids. This memorable experience of making ornaments with the entire family can become a new tradition.
Don’t forget to capture these special interactions and share them online. Imagine how happy they will be to show off their holiday photos with all their friends on social media. Family members without Facebook will find joy in knowing that the photos live on your social media platforms.
Warm up vocal cords and sing along
Musically inclined family members can serenade their loved ones with their favorite holiday carols and festive tunes. Holiday music voiced by an ensemble of the family will tug at their heartstrings, perhaps motivating them to share in the joy of singing for others.
See if they are interested in some old-fashioned caroling at the homes of your family and friends. You can get everyone’s vocal cords exercised at home before heading out. Everyone in your holiday circles will be overfilled with warmth and pleasant nostalgia as red, green and snow-white notes fill the rooms with familiar and beloved holiday music.
Handmade holiday greeting cards
In an increasingly digital world of transactions, take a lead from the vintage playbook and handwrite or make a holiday card and send it by mail. Seniors will cherish the experience of receiving a handwritten or customized holiday greeting card from their loved ones. They’ll hang onto every handwritten phrase and gush over the card’s sentiment and well wishes.
Invite your elderly family members to help with the holiday cards in some form. Maybe they can also use assistance sending out some of their own greeting cards to old friends. This time-tested tradition will uplift spirits and spread good holiday vibes upon arrival.
Meet up for special family time on a video call
Crazy schedules, far distances between family homes and other life commitments can make it difficult for everyone to meet in person for one special holiday gathering. Thanks to video capabilities and calendar reminders, it’s easy to set up some time to hold a video chat and wish aging family members a beautiful holiday season and check up on how they’re doing.
You can also arrange for your parents, grandparents, uncles or aunties to prepare something for the younger crowd. Maybe they can read a story or recount larger-than-life tales from their heyday as the entire family watches. With a cozy fireplace going in the background and everyone bundled up with warm pajamas and blankets, this will be one of the best video chats of the year.
The role of caregiving
For families who need an extra hand through professional caregiving, senior-living centers also help spread holiday cheer and lift spirits this time of year. Through comprehensive and compassionate caregiving, staff members and the entire Cherished Companions community make sure seniors feel the season’s warmth no matter where they are spending their time.
Senior companionship and compassionate caregiving will be constant so that your loved one can enjoy a fulfilling and memorable holiday season.
For further questions, to request resources or to inquire about having your loved one utilize our services, contact Cherished Companions today on our website or call (440) 484-5390.