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Holidays and celebrations build memories for a lifetime, no matter how old you are. However, many elderly adults struggle at this time of year due to conflicting feelings about the past and the future. Seniors face much bigger challenges in creating, hosting or even attending holiday celebrations due to physical or mental health issues.

With age, many elderly people struggle with the tasks of daily living, and they depend on family caregivers, friends, and senior care providers to help them. Outings can be regularly scheduled to help them stay social, but there’s something special about the holidays that make them want to connect with others in festive settings. With the help of family members and senior care providers, elderly adults can enjoy all the fun that the holiday season brings.

You must consider your aging relative’s physical condition when making holiday plans for them. For example, if they are quite frail, a more intimate gathering may be appropriate. Other seniors thrive on large group gatherings of friends and family and look forward to hosting. No matter what their capabilities, they will surely appreciate your efforts to make holiday events special.

There are many suggestions online about how to make the holidays extra special for aging adults.

Here are a few that can easily be adapted for seniors due to ability, interest, and finances:

  • Plan to attend a holiday concert presented by the local orchestra or choir.
  • Host a cookie exchange with friends and family where everyone brings a plate of cookies and leaves with many different kinds.
  • Secretly plan for a distant relative to spend the holidays with the elderly relative and help facilitate the surprise visit.
  • Organize a family reunion with those who are coming into town for the holidays.
  • Put together a video slideshow of photos and let your aging relative narrate it, then send it to family members as a holiday gift.
  • Volunteer somewhere that needs help around the holidays, such as at a food kitchen or children’s hospital.
  • Arrange with the senior care provider to take your aging relative to various holiday events in the community, such as the mall with decorations or a winter craft fair.
  • Organize a gift-giving party with close friends that don’t get together often and host a little holiday party at home or at a restaurant.
  • Arrange for your elderly relative to attend any holiday religious services that they identify with.

The most important thing for your elderly relative to know is that they are loved and appreciated all year long, but especially during the holiday season. When everyone in your aging loved one’s support group—family members, friends, clergy and senior care providers—make the extra effort to create special holiday experiences, it makes this time of year truly memorable.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home elder care in Columbia, SC, please talk to our caring staff. Call today (803) 223-6173.