While the holidays are an exciting time for many, filled with gatherings of family and friends, they can also be a source of stress and exhaustion for seniors. One of the difficulties of the holiday season is not knowing an elderly relatives limits. While you can anticipate that they may need help, they may not always express to you that they need to slow down.
To help your loved ones during this holiday season, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Set realistic goals and offer options. Ask your loved one which events are most important to them, and allow ample rest time between visits to keep exhaustion at bay.
2. Make healthy choices. The holidays are a time for many to indulge in food–or overindulge. Try to plan meals with other events in mind. Have a light lunch to make up for a heavy dinner. Also, be sure to stay hydrated, and be sure to follow any dietary restrictions set forth by your doctor.
3. Keep set schedules. If your loved one is used to waking up, eating, and going to bed at certain times, make sure to respect those schedules. Also, try to keep up an exercise routine, and any other activities that they have become accustomed to on a daily basis.
4. Keep expenses to a minimum. Many seniors are on a fixed income, and the holidays can be a financial challenge due to purchasing gifts for many family members. Help them set a realistic budget, and prioritize gifts or give group gifts.
5. Make safety and accessibility a priority. If older relatives are visiting your home for the holidays, ensure your home is safe and accessible. Pick up throw rugs, and place nightlights in a dark hallway. If your loved one lives nearby, make sure that their decorations are safe. An artificial tree that is labeled “fire resistant” is the best choice, and be sure to place trees away from fireplaces, vents are radiators. Be sure that they use lights that have been tested for safety by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, and remind them to turn off lights before going to bed or leaving the house.
6. Stay involved. Recognize that senior citizens still want to feel that they are part of the holidays. Allow them to help in their preparations however they can, and keep them up to date on the happenings during the holiday season.
Holidays can be fun for everyone if you adjust for their needs. You know your senior best, so customize activities to suit them. Allow them to join in the fun whenever possible, but don’t overdo it.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Village Lake Inn!