How to Make the Holidays Special for Seniors
Making the holidays special for seniors can involve such simple things as spending time together and cooking a special meal or two.
Nostalgia has a powerful effect on seniors. By making the holidays special for them, you can improve their quality of life.
The magic of the holiday season doesn’t necessarily wear away with age. Seniors get nostalgic during the holidays, and many still want to celebrate.
Creating a Special Holiday Meal
There are many holiday meals that are heart healthy for seniors. You can find many recipes on web sites such as aplaceformom.com, tasteofhome.com, or health.com. Use these ideas to get started:
- Roasted, lightly seasoned turkey breast
- Sweet potato pasta with ground turkey
- Turkey meatloaf
- Pan seared Brussels sprouts with cranberries and pecans
- Roasted green beans with almonds
- Lemon orzo salad
- Oatmeal cookies with cinnamon and raisins
- Peppermint tea
- Lemon bars
Dress up Meal Up:
- Use holiday napkins and/ or tablecloths
- Help seniors dress up for the meal
- Invite loved ones to share the meal with a senior
How to Make Holiday Memories
So much of the holiday season is about reminiscing, reflecting, and togetherness. For seniors, this can be a challenge due to memory issues, health concerns, or family members living far away. You can sweeten the season by intentionally spreading holiday cheer and making memories.
Softly play holiday music, including songs that were popular in past decades.
Read holiday cards together and use them to decorate.
Create a holiday craft with a senior or help them select/make gifts for loved ones.
Look through old photo albums and reminisce with seniors as they share stories.
Share your favorite holiday memories and ask seniors about theirs.
Plan to attend an event like a holiday concert, pageant, game night, or festival.
Take a drive to see holiday lights and décor.
One Major Benefit of Holiday Celebrations for Seniors
Depression is common during the holiday season, especially among seniors. Feeling sad and alone isn’t good for seniors’ health. When you brighten the holidays for seniors, you may be increasing their lifespan and improving their quality of life.
Coping with Holiday Hardships
The holidays can be stressful for seniors, as well as risky for their health. Help seniors avoid and cope with these challenges.
- Don’t plan back-to-back activities
- Be mindful of the weather
- Keep tissues and sanitizer available
- Schedule time to connect with long-distance loved ones
- Make free or affordable plans
- Don’t upset routines like bedtimes
- Keep fiber and other nutrients in their diet
- Remain positive and sensitive
Decorations for the holidays can be dangerous for seniors. Be sure that décor like lights, candles, hanging ornaments, glass pieces, and linens are not in places where seniors would be endangered if they slip, fall, or forget to turn something on or off.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.
Serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater San Diego, Family Matter In-Home Care has offices in Campbell, CA, Palo Alto, CA, Pleasanton, CA, San Marcos, CA, and San Mateo, CA.