Merry And Bright: Tips to Ensure Everyone Enjoys the Holidays

Grandparents and family gathered around the dining table for a holiday feast

It’s no secret that the holiday season is an excellent time for folks to get together with their families and friends. The holidays can be filled with joy and excitement – especially for younger family members.

However, our senior loved ones can sometimes feel more lonely or anxious around the holidays. It can sometimes be hard for families to remember to include their elderly loved ones in more meaningful ways. 

We hope this can serve as a guide for you as you plan for all the major holidays upon us. After all, getting together is more fun if everyone can feel like they’re a big part of the festivities.

Make a Plan in Advance

For many seniors, there is extreme anxiety about the unknown. They need to account for things like medication schedules, diet, and comfort levels.

To help your loved ones combat this, you must sit down with them to map out a game plan. Getting them involved in the planning stages – if they are capable – is always a plus for them. It also allows you to spend some more quality time with your seniors. 

Right off the bat, this shows your loved one that their needs and desires are a priority to the family. Taking that one-on-one time with them allows you to ask them what kind of activities they are interested in for the holidays and what foods they think would be best to have at the family dinner table. 

The one-on-one planning time can also help prevent the loneliness that sometimes hits seniors during this time of year. Spending that quality time allows them to get undivided attention before the chaos of a family get-together. Due to many factors, seniors can sometimes feel like an afterthought – putting them first will show them how much you still love and appreciate them.

Pick Activities That Everyone Can Enjoy

Most of the activities that are great for younger children translate well to our senior loved ones. There is something about simple joys that liven their spirits around the holidays. 

As stated before, asking them for ideas is a great place to start because knowing their interests is half the battle. Many family traditions can easily be completed with adjustments for family members who need them. 

Baking Cookies – Most families love baking cookies around the holidays. The great thing about activities like this is that all ages can enjoy the process. Whether you can measure ingredients, shape the dough with cookie cutters, or ice the cookies, all steps are essential and enjoyable. The best way to go about this tradition is to have all generations of the family participating. Many family stories have been passed down through cooking or baking together.

Grandma and grandchild baking cookies

Holiday Crafts – Another fun activity your senior loved ones can participate in is simple holiday-related crafts. No art task is too small, whether it is making pictures, ornaments, or paper chains. Involving the whole family can create even more fun family memories and smiles. These activities can be done individually if your senior loved one needs a few moments away from all the togetherness.

Music and Singing – Studies show that music helps people of all ages to maintain good mental health and retain memories. If your loved one is living with memory loss or needs a more low-key activity that can spark joy, we suggest listening to music together or singing. 

Warm Holiday Drinks – An activity as simple as enjoying a nice hot beverage together after a day of festivities can be the highlight of your loved one’s holiday season. The great thing about this activity is it allows for adjustment based on the dietary needs of everyone. No specific beverage needs to be consumed; just stick it in a festive mug.

Holiday Storytime – Family recipes and stories are a great way to ensure your loved one feels included and appreciated this holiday season. Seniors should be loved and appreciated for their experiences, memories, and family histories. Your loved ones can share so many great stories with the younger generations. Why not cuddle up under fuzzy blankets as the holidays wind down?

Honor Family Recipes

A great way to ensure your loved one feels included and appreciated this holiday season is through family recipes. Food is the way to anyone’s heart and asking your senior for a beloved family recipe is even more so. 

You should ask them for assistance if they can physically help with the cooking. Sometimes, our family food secrets aren’t held within the recipe; they are contained within the heart. Communicating with your loved one might be the only way you will discover that special ingredient that makes your pie different from every other pie at the store. 

Family recipes are made with love. So it stands to reason that by utilizing the experience and know-how of your senior when cooking, the result will be better than ever. 

Even if your senior cannot remember a particular dish or physically help make the food, they can still participate. Often, just being around while a dish is being made will trigger memories in your senior. This will bring a smile to their face and help them feel less anxious about everything going on around them.

Don’t Overthink It

Out of all the tips, this is the most important. Often when seniors are involved, simple is best. There isn’t a need for an extravagant holiday party or get-together.

A simple meal with family where the basic traditions are observed is enough to ensure your loved ones feel included. There is no need to invite the whole neighborhood to participate. There is time enough for that outside of the designated holiday days.

Simply being together, listening, and talking to each other is enough to curb loneliness. Love can be shown and spread in many ways. Make sure you demonstrate care and consideration when planning any celebration. 

Letting your senior set the pace for everything is your best bet when trying to start the game plan. They know their needs and limitations best; therefore, the festivities should be centered on them. 

More than anything, be sure to have fun. Family memories are made when everyone gets together and shares love, stories, and food.

Accessible Home Health Care Can Help

If you are unsure how to start mapping out your family’s holiday season, Accessible can give you further guidance. We want your senior loved one to gain as much joy from the holidays as you do. Contact us today with any care questions you might have.