Top Reasons to Visit Aging Loved Ones This Holiday Season

November 19, 2018

They say there’s no place like home for the holidays. It’s no surprise then that an estimated 100 million people in the U.S. plan to travel back home this holiday season. During the year, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of your daily responsibilities. That’s why the holidays are the perfect time to slow down and focus on what really matters—good friends and family.

It is also an ideal time to visit with aging loved ones you may not have the opportunity to see during the year. This holiday season, make the most of every visit by:

  1. Making new memories and reminiscing

    If you look back at some of your favorite childhood memories, many of them are likely centered around a holiday. This holiday season, find activities you can do together like baking, cooking, wrapping gifts or doing some fun holiday crafts. Bring out old photo albums and family videos to relive holidays of the past. Take time to get some new photos and videos together to capture the joy of the season.

  2. Paying special attention to the environment

    Particularly if you live far away from your loved one, or don’t make it over to their house as much as you’d like, the holidays are the perfect time to check in and make sure your loved one’s living situation is safe and healthy. Pay close attention to things like overgrown scrubs and grass, broken windows, roof issues, etc. on the outside of the home that haven’t been addressed. On the inside, make sure their home is free of clutter, that their refrigerator and pantry have a variety of foods, and that their overall living conditions look comfortable and safe. Help keeping up the home are fantastic gift ideas. If you are wondering what to give this year, consider underwriting a plowing/shoveling, housekeeping or meal delivery service.

  3. Boosting spirits

    Feelings of isolation and depression are very common in seniors, especially if they are living alone. The holidays in particular can bring up past memories of loved ones who have passed away, leaving many to experience increased feelings of sadness, loneliness and anxiety. Spending time with an aging loved one can go a long way in boosting their spirits. Be sure to include them in as many holiday activities as you can.

  4. Noticing changes

    It’s important to pay close attention to your loved one’s physical appearance. Are they thinner than they should be? Are their clothes unkempt?? Look for mobility issues, such as struggling to get in and out of chairs, issues with steps, and relying on holding on to the wall as they walk to maintain their balance. Finally, don’t dismiss memory issues, such as forgetting the names of grandchildren or struggling to recall recent events. You may want to engage a physician if you see something that is concerning.

  5. Having important conversations (maybe not doing this at a holiday visit?) (select an appropriate time, perhaps even shortly after the holidays)

    It can be difficult to accept when it is no longer safe and healthy for your loved one to maintain their current living situation. Don’t let any feelings of guilt or fears of upsetting your loved one keep you from having the important conversation about moving to an assisted living community or accepting care in the home. It is important to have a plan for the future—too many families have discussions in a crisis situation that lead to rushed decisions regarding care and support. Senior and assisted living have changed over the years to support engaged and active lifestyles with extra help when needed. If, you are considering a move, be sure to focus in on the many benefits moving to an assisted living community can provide, including no longer having to worry about home maintenance, cleaning, or cooking. It also means they’ll have the assistance they need with daily activities like bathing or dressing, allowing them to maintain their independence and live healthier, more active lives.

  6. Helping Seniors Maintain their Independence at Episcopal SeniorLife Communities

    At Episcopal SeniorLife Communities we work with residents and their families to create personalized care plans that ensure every resident has access to the assistance they need to live happier, healthier, more active lives. From housekeeping and cooking, to medication management, transportation, bathing and dressing, we provide the services seniors need to live life to the fullest. This, paired with our many wellness and spiritual programs, ensure every senior can live life on their own terms, no matter what their age.

    Contact us today to learn more about our assisted living communities for seniors.

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