Holidays should be times for relaxation and joy, but sometimes, rather than the anticipated enjoyment, they become overly stressful, creating tension and unhappy times. With a little thought and pre-planning, however, those stress factors can melt away for a more enjoyable time for all.
- Include frail elderly family members in holiday preparations and activities only to the extent they are willing or able to participate.
- A large noisy party with many people may be too much stimulation for a frail senior or a person with dementia.
- Be cautious with decorations and noise. For example, candles are dangerous around elderly persons who have mobility and memory problems. Background music, even holiday music, can be distracting if the senior has a hearing impairment.
- Help seniors stick to their regular medication schedule. Also, pay attention to their alcohol consumption during holiday parties and gatherings. Alcohol can interfere with medications.
- Let certain seniors know that you appreciate their legacy and tell them you’re happy they’re with you.
- Challenge yourself to match the tempo of your frail elderly relatives or friends. The holidays are a great time to slow down instead of speed up.
Sometimes spending time with senior friends or family members over the holidays uncovers a need for extra care at home, whether the need is for a few hours a week or several hours a day. For tips on how to open the conversation about home care or to learn more about Visiting Angels’ home care services, contact us in Alameda County at (510) 284-0000 or in Santa Clara County at (408) 735-0977.
Sources: About.com Senior Living, Suite 101