How to Make the Holiday Season Stress-free for Seniors?
Most people look forward to relaxation and celebration with family and friends during the holiday season. A perfect holiday takes a lot of planning and patience, right from hosting the party, heading out for shopping to buying and sending out gifts. But, sometimes holiday preparations and expectations can make the season stressful.
Seniors can sometimes experience the most stress of the holidays more than the younger generation due to distance between loved ones, fatigue from performing holiday activities, loss of family and friends, poor health, or elimination of certain holiday traditions.
Approximately 38 percent of seniors said their stress levels inevitably increase during the holiday season. The main suspects include a shortage of time and money, gift-giving pressure, excessive commercialism, and the stress of family get-togethers.
While seniors may not want to participate in the holiday preparations, don’t let a potential case damper your beloved senior’s mood. Realize that planning the perfect holiday season for seniors doesn’t have to be that difficult. All you need is some ideas to help reduce the added stress that holiday celebrations bring.
- Minimize the Guest List:
Suppose the older adult is the family’s most senior member. In that case, the entire family would want to spend the holiday with them. Try modifying a large family gathering into smaller get-togethers to reduce the feeling of your elderly loved one being stressed and overwhelmed.
To make things easy, let one family member take the lead on planning the gathering and make plans for everyone to visit at different times. This will alleviate the stress or obligation to host one large family event.
- Change the Way You Shop:
Shopping for gifts, groceries, and other basics amidst the crowd can affect an older adult’s health.
Caregivers can help seniors find products online. The immense availability of online shopping products has been a blessing, especially post-pandemic. Additionally, you can save time by shopping for everything you need online and have everything delivered to your doorstep.
- Ask for Help:
It is understandable for seniors to be exhausted and overwhelmed with the holiday hustle and bustle. In some cases, seniors shy away from asking for help. It is important that they feel like they can ask for help when needed. For instance, asking a friend or family member for assistance in preparing a meal or having some help with additional cleaning.
Caregivers can also lean on the elderly person’s support circle to request assistance with preparing meals or shopping.
- Help Seniors Stay Connected Socially:
Older adults can volunteer at a soup kitchen along with a caregiver. Studies show giving back helps improve people’s moods and enhance their sense of self-worth. In-home caregivers may also teach seniors a new activity, such as a new card game, a musical instrument, creative writing, or woodworking.
- Focus on the most meaningful:
Caregivers must remind themselves that not everything has to be perfect. If a caregiver is feeling overwhelmed, they must plan only the most meaningful traditions for seniors. If the older adult has an honored tradition like playing Santa for the grandchildren or attending a church service, make sure to skip any additional events to help them focus on the most meaningful traditions.
- Don’t forget to take care of yourself:
Preparing for the holiday season can be challenging, especially when caregivers and seniors require a much needed break. Perhaps to rewind, you can go out with the senior and do some shopping or get a massage. This will enable caregivers and seniors to rejuvenate themselves in addition to spending some quality time together. During the holidays, caregivers can also assist seniors in performing tasks to reduce some of the work.
While seniors are as excited for the holiday season as everybody else, a constant fear of being vulnerable always surrounds them, which is why they don’t make the most of the holiday season. However, with a right family caregiver by their side, seniors can make that time of the year fun.
Caregivers not only help the seniors prepare well for the holiday season but also lets them participate in different activities and events to make it memorable. Families, too, take a sigh of relief because they’re confident that their beloved elderly’s care is in the right hands.
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