Family HolidaysThe holidays are an exciting time! Kids have a break from school and adults have a few days off of work, providing a unique opportunity for family members to reconnect. If you’re hosting elderly loved ones over this holiday season, or if you and the family will visit them at an assisted living community, these tips will help you make the experience a special one.

 

1.Remember depression is common

Studies reveal that more than 6 million seniors are depressed, and only 10% receive the help they need. Depression among the elderly often results from life changes like the loss of a loved one or mental and physical challenges resulting from age-related diseases, such as dementia and arthritis. Observe your senior loved one for any unusual signs of anxiety or depression, and have family members take turns keeping them company, maintaining happy conversation, and reminding them they’re a big part of what makes holiday celebrations special. 

2.Take time to do what they love

Incorporate your elderly loves one’s favorite hobby or activity into the holiday festivities. These fun, familiar activities will establish a sense of normalcy and decrease anxiety your loved one’s anxiety.

3.Plan quiet time

It’s important to include rest periods in your busy holiday schedule. These quiet moments will let everyone relax and recharge before the next round of festivities. When you can take a few quiet moments to talk, you’ll also be able to gauge their mood, comfort level and how they’re handling the holidays.

4.Get them into the holiday spirit

Baking cookies, trimming trees and looking at photos from past holidays are all good ways to do this. You can also take the whole family for a drive to see Christmas lights, which studies have shown is an effective way to help engage those with mobility struggles.

5.Take time for yourself

Ensuring that your senior loved ones enjoy the holidays might seem challenging, especially if you’re juggling a lot of guests or a family with young children. Take care of yourself first so you can make everyone’s day special and memorable.

For more tips on connecting with your senior loved ones this holiday season, call the Embassy HealthCare staff at 216-378-2050. We’ll be your shoulder to lean on if you just need to talk, too.