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How to Reduce Challenges and Increase Happiness for Seniors Throughout the Holiday Season

a photo of an oldr adult being pulled on a red sled in the snow by an older man

The holiday season tends to carry changes in routine, decor, diet, and more. For seniors, these shifts can hinder safety and make the season stressful. Use these tips to ensure seniors have a happy, healthy holiday.

Caregiving Strategies for A Safe and Happy Holiday Season for Seniors

Mental and Emotional Health Tips

Although holidays like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s can be happy and celebratory, these holidays can feel lonely for many seniors. Increased instances of moods and depression can result.

Caregivers Can Help Seniors Stay Safe Mentally and Emotionally By:

  • Encouraging social activity, even if through technology like video chatting
  • Offering holiday activities, like decorating, crafting, or selecting gifts
  • Making healthy versions of holiday food favorites
  • Asking seniors about their traditions and memories
  • Help by listening, sympathizing, and reminding them of their faith or values (Seniors Matter)

Top Challenges to Holiday Safety for SeniorsA list of activities to enjoy with seniors during the holidays

Some of the biggest challenges for seniors during the holidays include:

  • Traveling alone
  • Disrupted routine
  • Missed medications
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Time spent sedentary
  • Loneliness
  • The expense of gifts
  • Too much activity

(Care.com)

Holiday Travel Safety for Seniors and Caregivers

Visiting with loved ones during the holidays is often a source of joy, but traveling can be hard on seniors.

  • Those planning to travel should:
  • Talk to a doctor ahead of time about health concerns
  • Ask for enough medication to cover time away and questions about time zones affecting medication schedules
  • Wear compression socks if flying or spending a long time in the car
  • Bring copies of important documents like health insurance and emergency numbers
  • Give copies of travel itineraries to loved ones
  • Carry medications and essential items on the plane or in the car in case of travel disruptions.
  • Wear a medical ID if needed
  • Use hand sanitizer and wash hands to avoid germs
  • Ask for an escort or wheelchair to help navigate airports safely
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated

(Health in Aging)

MegaphoneHome Care Tip:

For seniors with memory-related issues, breaks from routine can be especially problematic. Caregivers can help seniors by writing things down, especially a schedule during the holidays. Setting automatic reminders for medications can also be helpful.

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