The holiday season is a time to celebrate long-held traditions with family. But as time goes on and people grow older, traditions may need to change. And that’s OK!
Here are some tips for adapting holiday activities to fit older loved ones’ needs.
- Make them feel involved. As people grow older, they may not have as much energy for holiday activities. Letting your loved ones assist you with simple, easy tasks will help them feel involved without wearing them out. Ask them to wrap presents or set the table. Even the smallest task could make a big difference in lifting their spirits.
- Take a walk down memory lane. Put up pictures and decorations that bring back happy memories and help your loved ones feel a sense of comfort in the midst of their new life after retirement.
- Avoid stimulation overload. For older adults with cognitive impairment, overstimulating holiday activities can be disorienting or anxiety-inducing. Therefore, low-key decorations and smaller family gatherings would be best.
- Turn on some tunes. Put some old records on the turntable or have a family karaoke night. Studies show that music can be quite beneficial to people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
- Don’t worry — be happy! Don’t worry about perfectly preserving family traditions. Simply spending quality time with family is ultimately more important than what activities you do together.
We hope these tips help you and your loved ones have a wonderful time this season. Warm wishes and happy holidays!