While most think of the holidays as a joyous time, when faced with a debilitating disease or condition as a senior, the stress of coping can zap away the excitement. The holidays can also be a lonely and difficult time for seniors, according to a recent survey by the AARP Foundation. The survey revealed that 31 percent of seniors interviewed have experienced loneliness during the holiday season.
If you – or a family member – are facing the holidays with dread, there are several senior activities that can help bring the joy back to the season and accommodate seniors struggling with failing health or medical conditions.
Loneliness can often take over when seniors are not as active as they could be – or should be. You can change that as a family member or caregiver. Consider bringing some joy to your loved one with the following holiday activities for seniors.
Break out the board games: At any age, board games can prompt hours of entertainment. Seniors are no exception. Get the family together for a good old fashioned game night and break out those games that have collected dust in the closet to bring seasonal joy to a senior.
Decorate the house: It’s encouraging to wake up each morning to twinkling lights, decorated wreaths hanging on the door or even stockings hung by the chimney. Help a senior you care for or love get into the holiday spirit by adding decorations to the home. Allow seniors to maintain independence by letting them guide the decorating session and help with more difficult tasks such as setting up a tree or handling breakable ornaments and decorations.
Turn up the tunes: Holiday music from all decades can help bring joy to a senior’s life when loneliness takes over during the holiday season. Break out that old record player or make a playlist of his or her favorite holiday tunes to play when you’re gathering together. Music therapy is often healing, according to Harvard Health, and has even been known to reduce pain and discomfort.
Bake cookies: Even if the senior you care for is unable to operate the oven, you can enlist his or her help and add some joy to the season by baking cookies. Gather all the ingredients you need and bake a variety of cookies together. You can even add personalized decorations and package up bundles to share with friends and family.
Tour Holiday Light Shows: The healing effects of light is inevitable and the holiday season is the perfect opportunity to take in some lights. Add joy to your senior’s life by heading to the mall to take a stroll and see the holiday displays and lights. You can also take a drive at night during the holiday season to admire the hard work of outdoor decorators.
See a Holiday Show: From November to January, many community theaters host holiday plays and musicals. Give your senior a chance to get dressed up and experience the beauty of the season and the talent of locals when stopping in to see a holiday musical, play or movie.
A physical illness or disease can affect individuals at any stage of life and age. In some cases, the symptoms may be mild, but many disorders, can also be life threatening. The loneliness and stress that accompanies a medical condition can be even more stressful during the holiday season.
This is why support and care is essential at the onset of any type of discomfort for your aging parent or loved one. And, a team effort ensures that you – or a loved one – will navigate chronic conditions in comfort.
It’s important to learn as much about the symptoms and care needed to help support your loved ones. Tap into resources from local and national organizations to boost your knowledge of how the disorder affects everyone involved and to also identify coping skills. In addition, lean on caregivers, such as the qualified staff from Care Indeed, to help with daily living, while coordinating palliative care.
Life with any type of illness is challenging and learning how to accept the challenge is the first step in living life. While you may struggle with grief and loss when coping with the symptoms as a patient, caregiver or family member, the support you need is only a click away.
Care Indeed is committed to providing you the support and in-home caregivers who understand your challenges and daily struggles at work and home. Learn more about how to get the support you need today.
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