In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s hard to forget the festive season isn’t just about the kids, the big dinner, the tree, and the parties. Our older parents, grandparents and relatives are often the loneliest at this time of year, but there are things we can do to make sure they feel loved and included.
Keith Dahlen, owner of Great Oak Senior Care in Bloomington, has these tips to keep every member of your family happy and healthy as you get ready for Christmas and the new year.
Include them as much as possible. Especially if the seniors in your family aren’t as mobile as they used to be. Offer to pick them up and drop them off, or arrange for a cab or for someone else to do the driving.
Recognize their limitations. Grandma may be used to whipping together a turkey dinner for 12, but her hands and eyes aren’t what they used to be. Encourage your older family members to take it easy and let you pamper them for a change, but let them help with smaller, less complicated tasks if they want to participate.
Listen to their stories. Many of our older relatives live in their memories. Encourage them to talk about holidays gone by. If they keep albums, ask to see the pictures. They may have some wonderful traditions from their childhood that you can incorporate into your own family’s plans.
Give the best gift of all – your time! “Most of the seniors I work with say the best gift of all is spending time with family” said Dahlen. Unhurried, uncomplicated family time will mean the most to your loved one and will create memories to last all year long.
Don’t let it end. The week after New Years’ is often the hardest for seniors, with the excitement over and families getting back to their normal routines. Make it your New Years’ Resolution to spend more time with your older relatives throughout the year.
It’s often around family holidays that you’ll notice your older parent, grandparent or relative isn’t doing as well as they once were. If you feel it’s time to bring in some help, Great Oak Senior Care will be there. Our caring service throughout the Twin Cities makes it possible for the elderly to maintain as much independence as possible, by providing the appropriate in home assistance and companionship. In that way we lift spirits not only of the elderly, but of the family caregivers as well.
Please let us know if we can help,
Great Oak Senior Care