CAREGivers Bring Light to Seniors During the Holidays


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BlogPostDecCGTree2.pngThe holidays are upon us and with the season comes the hustle and bustle of family gatherings, shopping and cooking. Personal, family and religious traditions are an important part of the festivities for seniors. But, with the “busyness” of the season, these cherished traditions can be forgotten or diminished at times if family caregivers get pulled in too many directions or if a senior doesn’t have family nearby.

Professional CAREGiversSM can bring hope and be a shining light for seniors during the holidays. Watch this video from CAREGiver Lynn and see how she brought joy to a client and his wife with one special experience that has turned into a beautiful memory for the family.

 


Maintaining Routines During the Holidays is Crucial

In addition to offering hope and companionship during the season, CAREGivers are a key component in helping seniors maintain important daily routines. Many senior’s health routines can be disrupted to accommodate holiday happenings. And, all the activity may bring unnecessary stress.

CAREGivers are trained to keep basic care needs top of mind. This seemingly simple task is actually very important. If seniors are out and about more than normal over the holidays, it’s possible that medication may not be taken at the right time or even at all. When on the go, nutrition and hydration can also vary from what a senior may be accustomed to.

A CAREGiver can work closely with a senior’s family to ensure his or her needs are being met and adapted to accommodate holiday happenings.

CAREGivers Light up the Holidays for Seniors

Professional CAREGivers can light up the holiday spirit by helping recreate family traditions, decorating the home, baking treats and flipping through family photo albums letting seniors re-live precious memories. These acts are especially meaningful to seniors who are alone during the holidays or those with family who are unable to visit. As wonderful as these interactions are for seniors, they are equally impactful for CAREGivers. See what it means to these CAREGivers to spend time with seniors throughout the holiday season.

 


Family Caregivers Keep the Holiday Spirit Alive

Here are some suggestions to keep the holiday spirit lively for the senior loved ones in your life:

  • Go see a holiday movie or play at your local theater. Many movie theaters will play classic holiday movies which can be especially nostalgic for seniors.
  • Talk with your loved one about his or her favorite holiday traditions and do your best to recreate them.
  • Break out photo albums or old family videos and ask your loved one to recount the memories from that particular time. You may be surprised at what you learn.
  • Spend time together. Seniors can feel isolated, so making it a point to spend quality time with your loved one means more than you know. Play a game (great for keeping the aging brain sharp) or wrap presents (arthritis can make it difficult for seniors to wrap gifts).
  • Bake and share the joy a treat can bring. Find a few recipes and whip up a batch of cookies together that you can deliver to an elderly neighbor to brighten his or her day. Seniors and those living with dementia still have a need to be needed, and this is a great way to fulfill that need. If you’re part of the Ready to CareSM community, make sure to cross this care mission off your list!

Holiday Caregiving Tips for Family Caregivers

An older adult can feel overwhelmed during the holidays with too much of a good thing. Be cognizant of holiday happenings and how they’re impacting your loved one. A few considerations are below:

  • Too much activity: Some conditions of aging, such as dementia, may cause agitation in older adults. Tune into the amount of activity that surrounds a senior during the holidays and adapt as necessary.
  • Too many unrealistic expectations: Families often function best when they are following traditional roles at the holidays. However, that isn’t always realistic. If your senior has suffered a health decline, he or she may not be up to the family get-together. Try to get family members on board to set realistic expectations.
  • Too much noise: Hearing impairment can make it difficult for older adults to understand conversations. If you’re hosting a holiday party, take Grandpa into a quiet room and ask family to visit him individually so he can get the most from conversations.
  • Too many visitors: Seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia could react negatively to the presence of too many people. Take care not to turn a positive holiday party into a negative event for the older loved one in the family by subjecting your senior to too many visitors.

Find more caregiving tips and holiday stress relief suggestions at CaregiverStress.com. If you find yourself in a situation where you believe you and your loved one can benefit from respite care, visit HomeInstead.com to find a professionally trained CAREGiver in your area.

May the light shine on you this holiday season,
Lakelyn Hogan

Author: Lakelyn Hogan

Lakelyn Hogan is Gerontologist and Caregiver Advocate for Home Instead Senior Care. Lakelyn has been with Home Instead for five years, starting in the local franchise working one-on-one with seniors and caregivers. Now, her role at the Global Headquarters is to educate professionals, families and communities on Home Instead’s services and the issues older adults face. In partnership with the American Society on Aging, Lakelyn facilitates a monthly webinar series for professionals in the aging field. She also hosts monthly family caregiver live chats with Alzheimer’s and dementia experts from across the country.

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