With the holiday season officially in full swing, caregivers are feeling the additional stresses associated with this time of year.
While a popular holiday song may say that all is calm and all is bright, the reality of celebrating the holidays with a loved one in an assisted living facility creates some unique challenges.
How can you keep the magic of the holidays from fading for your loved one? Here are some quick tips for keeping the season merry.
1) Make time to visit
Topping the wish list for most residents of assisted living facilities is more time spent with family and friends. In years past, the holiday season likely involved socializing and entertaining for older adults. Being without that type of stimulation is a contributing factor to the holiday blues.
You can help combat those blues by arranging additional visits during the holidays. Making time to visit your loved one will keep him or her connected with the season in a special way.
Much of the magic of the holidays comes from time spent with children. If possible, arranging a visit with all the family, including the youngest, can awaken enthusiasm for the holiday.
2) Encourage socializing within the community
In many assisted living communities, special events occur around the holidays. Christmas sing-alongs, screenings of holiday movies, and special meals are all part of the holiday atmosphere. Find out about the events being planned at the facility, and encourage your loved one to take part in the festivities. If possible, join them as they participate.
3) Deck the halls
Help your loved one to get into the holiday spirit with personalized decorations. Be sure to provide the supplies needed to handle decorations, and set aside a little time to help if needed. In honor of many holidays spent together, choose ornaments and decorations that hold special meaning in your loved one's heart.
4) Enjoy a mini-celebration
If the older adults in your life are unable to visit your home for the holiday, create a special mini-celebration with them in their community. Include a CD of favorite holiday tunes. Prepare holiday dishes that are family traditions. Enjoy some quiet time looking through photo albums of holidays past.
No celebration would be complete without the exchange of gifts. In addition to giving appropriate gifts to your loved one, do not deprive him or her of the joy of giving. This will heighten the pleasure of the occasion for everyone involved.
5) Make time for yourself this holiday season
One of the best gifts you can give your loved ones is caring properly for yourself during the holiday season. Taking time to de-stress, understanding that holiday activities do not have to be perfect, and realizing that the best use of your time is to enjoy and be thankful for the ones you love will help make the holidays magical.
With a little bit of ingenuity and a lot of love, you can give the older adults in your life the gift of joy this holiday season. Speaking of gifts.
Article Submitted by: Susan O'Leary
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