Winter holidays are wonderful times to spend with close friends and family. Planning activities as part of family caregiving can help preserve holiday traditions and give everyone a sense of connection and belonging. Of course, when you’re juggling family, a career, and care for your loved one, it can be difficult to plan for the holidays, too. If you’re short on time and inspiration, check out these holiday-themed activities for seniors and family. With a little extra planning and some cooperation, you can make your loved one’s holiday season one of his happiest:
Create Traditions at Home
Nothing says “holiday” like a family gathered together under one cozy roof. Create togetherness with these ideas:
- Collect traditional recipes. Ask your senior loved one and other family members for the holiday recipes they love. Use them to create traditional meals and holiday foods your senior ate growing up.
- Have a baking party. Fill the house with the warm smells of holiday baked goods by arranging a cookie-baking party. Invite your senior’s friends or close family, and ask each person to bring her favorite recipe.
- Watch classic movies. Set aside a night to watch your senior loved one’s favorite movies or television specials.
Explore Your Community
Reaching out to your community is another way to embrace the spirit of the season. Try some of these activities:
- Attend a holiday concert. Check the local newspaper for free or inexpensive holiday concerts, pageants, and events. Many schools and places of worship offer holiday entertainment.
- Explore local holiday lights. Get in the car with your loved one, turn on a holiday playlist, and find brightly lit houses around town.
Helping those in need can give you and your loved ones a renewed sense of purpose. Try some of the following:
- Volunteer. Seniors can derive many health benefits from volunteering, including increasing their senses of purpose and quality of life. Consider volunteering your time as a family at a food bank or a similar activity.
- Donate. Contact a Giving Tree (or similar organization) near you, and sponsor a family or children in need. Take your loved one shopping for items to donate.
- Bring joy. Deliver holiday treats to the staff at your local hospital or nursing home, police department, and fire station.
Connect with Family
The holidays are about being with family and appreciating the love you share. These ideas can help you keep your loved ones close, even if they’re far away:
- Reach out. Take a day to call or video chat with loved ones who are unable to be with your family. You can even mail a care package to those distant family members in advance, and share a mug of the same tea while you catch up.
- Have a holiday gathering. Why not host an evening get-together? Invite friends, family, church members, and neighbors over for games, dessert, and holiday socializing.
Planning holiday activities for seniors that help them stay connected to the people and traditions they love most will not only combat feelings of loneliness, but will also bring your family together — making this season your brightest yet.
The holidays bring families together to celebrate. But for times when you can’t be near your senior loved ones, consider a medical alert device — even if you’re separated by a long distance, peace of mind can always be just a button-push away.