As another unpredictable year draws to a close, the holidays are the perfect time to slow down and spend some quality time with the ones we love most, reflecting and sharing treasured memories. With the true spirit of the holidays in mind, it’s important to ensure senior loved ones are able to get involved, too – whether they live at home or in a residential assisted living community.
Senior loved ones are the people who built the foundations of a family. Throughout their lives, our parents and grandparents selflessly devoted themselves to raising a strong family unit, ensuring everyone was happy and healthy. It’s only right that as they grow older, they are given the same level of love and care that they once provided for everyone else.
This festive period is a great opportunity to show our appreciation for senior loved ones by making sure they’re involved in holiday celebrations. If your loved one is in a residential assisted living community in CO, you might need to get creative – especially if COVID-19 restrictions are making it more difficult to visit them in person. Luckily, there are a whole host of things you can do to make sure your senior relative feels important and included.
8 ways to get a Senior Loved One Involved in the Holidays
- Give them a thoughtful gift. The holiday season is all about giving, and a beautiful gift needn’t be costly. Why not gift them something personally meaningful or homemade that can be treasured for years to come, like a photo album or memory scrapbook?
- Get them involved in the preparations. Ask your loved one to help you organize the family’s festive plans. Enquire about long-standing traditions you can incorporate into your day, or ask them to share a special recipe they made for you growing up. If you’re able to visit your loved one or bring them to your home, you could even do something practical together – like baking festive cookies or hanging decorations.
- Write Christmas cards or buy gifts together. Helping your loved one tick off their festive to-do list is an excellent way to combine practical assistance with quality time. Make an occasion out of the experience! Take them to the mall and grab a festive bite to eat or sit down with some music or a movie while you write cards together. As we age, tasks that were once simple like writing or navigating shops can become much more difficult, so a little help will likely be much appreciated.
- Arrange video calls. If your senior loved one is going to be celebrating with their residential assisted living community and you’re unable to visit due to distance or COVID-19 restrictions, arrange regular video calls to make sure they don’t feel forgotten. Get the family together for a group Facetime, or organize separate calls spread throughout the festive period.
- Take them out to a themed event. If your loved one is physically mobile and you can take them on trips, why not plan a festive day out? You could head to the movies to see a holiday film together, or take them for a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings!
- Join in with their residential assisted living community’s celebrations. Many residential assisted living facilities host a few festive events or activities in the lead up to the holidays. If you’re able, head along to celebrate with your loved one and their friends.
- Help them decorate their space. Whether your loved one lives in a residential assisted living community in Pueblo West or their own home, putting up Christmas decorations is a great way to spend quality time together and help them get into the spirit. Whip up a festive drink, pick out their favorite decorations and reminisce over all the wonderful holiday seasons you’ve spent together over the years.
- Visit them on Christmas Day. If your loved one lives in residential assisted living, or even if they live independently but can’t join the family for the big day, paying them a visit will make their Christmas that extra bit special. Take a few hours out of your day to drop by and spend some precious time with them.
Don’t forget, huge expense and grand gestures are not needed to make sure your loved one has the best festive experience. During the holidays and always, the greatest thing you can give your senior parent or relative is your time and love.
Recognizing Caregivers During the Holidays
While we take time to ensure seniors feel appreciated and included, the festive period also presents the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the daily efforts of caregivers. Family and professional caregivers embody the true spirit of the holidays all year round, providing seniors with the compassionate care they deserve.
Family caregivers sacrifice their own commitments, careers and social lives to dedicate themselves to their aging loved one, while professional caregivers draw upon extensive training and their natural nurturing spirit to enhance the lives of seniors. Despite their different roles, family and professional caregivers have a lot in common. With loving, kind hearts, all caregivers show unrelenting commitment to the seniors they serve on a daily basis.
During the festive period and beyond, Columbine Chateau recognizes and appreciates the valuable work of professional and family caregivers.