19 Ways to Enhance the Holidays for Elders
There are so many ways to celebrate and enjoy the holidays. For some elders, certain ‘tasks’ may be daunting – like decorating the house. Other tasks may prove even more challenging – such as gift shopping, or cooking and baking. On the contrary, there are also able-bodied elders who have a desire to volunteer or become more involved this time of year.
Regardless of the individual, it is important to think of our elderly loved ones during the holidays and know that there ways that we can enhance the season. The holidays are a time for joy… so how can you bring joy to an elder loved one during the holidays?
Here’s 19 Ways: Help an elder person feel the magic of the season and feel loved by including them in activities:
• Making holiday cookies – Including distributing them to neighbors, family and friends.
• Church Activities – If you or the elderly person is a church-goer, churches are filled with holiday activities that need volunteers.
• Shopping – Holiday shopping can be time consuming or even challenging. It’s always nice to have a help and a companion.
• Seasonal Crafts – Plan a day to create crafts and incite joy for the season.
• Assist with visits – Visiting family? Whether near or far, help an elder with travel and accommodations. Not going anywhere? Plan a mini ‘vacation’ and sight-see around town.
• Caroling – Gather to sing holiday songs. Music has so many benefits and truly brings out the holiday spirit.
• Decorating – Decorating a house can be time consuming and exhausting. Get the kids or grandchildren involved and make a day of it.
• Holiday Parties – Make rounds with an elderly family member or friend. It can help keep them occupied and social.
• Gift Wrapping – Help an elder wrap gifts which are often time consuming.
• Christmas Lighting – String up some lights indoors to get everyone in a holiday mood
• Volunteering – Find something that fits the physical limitations of the elderly person. If less physically able, take a trip together to make a donation to an agency in need.
• Event Planning – Have a party you need to throw? Designate an elderly person as the party organizer and let them delegate tasks to you.
• Gift Making – Making gifts and being thrifty is the newest fad. Browse Pinterest or the internet and find some easy crafts or projects to make at home.
• Having a dance or a talent show – Organize something fun and easy. Involve children and the elderly and have a ball!
• Theatre or Ballet – Have a beautiful night out that any soul can appreciate.
• Introduce foods with better nutrition – Introduce and share food with the elderly that are high in Vitamins and Minerals. A poor diet can affect medications and induce symptoms in certain ailments.
• Treat an elder to a haircut or even a hot shave as it can make someone feel wonderful. A pedicure is a bonus for both men and women. Most salons also do a leg massage during the pedicure.
• Friends – Calling an elder’s friends and coordinating get-togethers regularly can be a big help. Friends are not only a great support system, but they can relate in ways that others often can’t.
• Fresh air and sunshine – Don’t let winter stop you… Just remember to bundle up. Time spent on outdoor activities in the sunshine and fresh air provides energy, a dose of Vitamin D, and as a result, an instant boost of happiness and joy.
*Adapted from the National Care Planning Council