While you may envision intimate gatherings, exquisite meals, and pleasure throughout the holiday season, the reality may be quite the contrary. The abundance of activities, fluctuating schedules, rich food, and the potential for conflict can all place additional pressure on the family, especially for older people receiving in-home care.
By planning ahead, you can make the holidays effortless for yourself or your senior loved one. You can make the holidays safer and more joyous; by considering some factors below you may manage this season.
Plan Ahead of Time for Dietary Requirements
The holidays are a time for lavish feasts, delectable snacks, as well as famous traditional meals. However, elderly folks may have dietary restrictions that prevent them from enjoying it. Consider your elderly loved ones while arranging a Christmas meal or celebration.
Keep an Eye Out for Potential Hazards in Unfamiliar Homes
A new environment can be full of unanticipated risks for senior citizens with impairments or mobility issues. Look for items that could cause falls for senior citizens, such as loose objects or cords, door mats, barriers in corridors or doors, and throw rugs. Keep the lighting in the halls and rooms. Additionally, think about how rearranging furniture or changing the layout of a space would affect the experience of an older adult who suffers from memory loss or another cognitive impairment hosting a holiday gathering in their home.
Be Prepared for Rapidly Changing Weather Patterns
Extreme weather and temperature changes can occur in various sections of the country during the month of December. During the holidays, layering can ensure senior citizens are comfortable. Additionally, wearing suitable clothing—such as hats, gloves, and boots—can shield seniors from the weather as they travel to all their holiday-related events and activities. Make sure you have shovels, salt, and other materials to make sidewalks and porches safe if you live in a colder climate.
Maintain a Schedule and a Routine
While it may be impossible to stick to every routine throughout the busy holiday season, maintaining some regularity can benefit older folks. Schedule and routine predictability and consistency can help improve quality of life. Studies have also found Routines to help reduce stress and anxiety, improve emotions of safety, security, and confidence, and aid in better sleep. While certain routines can be adjusted to some extent, one cannot, and that is the prescription schedule. Keep it on track while holiday festivities take over. Consider using calendar reminders, alerts, or alarms to help older folks stick to their prescription dosage and schedule.
Ensure Seniors Get Enough Sleep
Getting adequate, restorative sleep can be difficult for older persons. The aging process, chronic health issues, and some drugs can disrupt sleep. Contrary to popular opinion, people do not require less sleep as they become older. Older folks require roughly the same amount of sleep as 20-year-olds. In older adults, sleep deprivation can impact mood, memory, and cognition, among other things. It can also influence their ability to enjoy the holiday season. So, don’t sacrifice sleep for more holiday activities. Also, ensure that older folks have plenty of rest after traveling since their bodies may require extra recovery time.
Look for Ways to Involve Everyone in Activities
It can be challenging – and sometimes heartbreaking – for older persons who are not able to participate in events or play their typical holiday roles due to age or illness. Consider fresh ways to involve them. Break down food preparation activities, for example, and allocate appropriate roles to young and old family members. Plan games or activities that everyone can enjoy. Work together on gift wrapping or purchasing.
Recognize Seasonal Depression Symptoms
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 million persons over the age of 65 suffer from depression. This is because specific medical issues and even drugs can cause depression. It is also more frequent when an older adult is adapting to a significant change, such as a loss, sickness, or relocation. For older folks, the holiday season may heighten depression and its symptoms. Consult your doctor if someone you care about is suffering intense depression or anxiety, a difference in eating or sleeping patterns, or a loss of interest in everyday activities and personal cleanliness.
Set Reasonable Expectations
The majority of people romanticize the holiday season. They long for the stress-free, movie-scene situations in which everyone is happy and healthy. Where everything is simple, and there are no errors. However, the reality is that most families’ holidays go differently than planned. They are stressful. They may even be a source of contention. Expecting the unexpected over the holidays allows you to be prepared for whatever the holidays bring and avoids the disappointment that might accompany exaggerated expectations.
Enjoy the time spent with family and friends during the holidays, no matter how the dinners, gatherings, gifts, or activities turn out. Meaningful and rewarding relationships with family and friends can enhance seniors’ general happiness and well-being. Sequoia Senior Solutions can assist you with all of the things that seniors require over the holiday season. Our in-home care services can assist, whether for a few days over the Christmas season or regularly throughout the New Year.