Tips For Celebrating Thanksgiving With Your Senior Loved Ones

Thanksgiving is the perfect time for family and friends to gather together; to enjoy good food and spend quality time with one another in a festive atmosphere!

This holiday is a favorite for many families, in part due to the authentic traditions that come along with it. However, planning for Thanksgiving can also bring upon stress for some families, especially if you’re a caretaker for the senior loved one in your life.

Specifically, if you have senior loved ones showing signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease — or if they are beginning to lose some of their physical strength and capabilities — your traditional Thanksgiving celebration may need to be changed a bit in order to accommodate their needs.

At Clinica Las Mercedes we understand the role of caregiver, and the toll it may take when you are caring for your senior loved one. However, there are many ways to make your Thanksgiving a fun and special day for everyone.

Below, please find our tips for making Thanksgiving our seniors’ Thanksgiving joyful.  We also offer tips for caregivers to help you get through Thanksgiving with ease, so you can get back to enjoying what the day is all about—giving thanks for the special loved ones in your life.

Include Your Loved Ones; Don’t Leave Them Alone

Many seniors may feel lonely and can be reminded of people they may have lost in the past. The feeling that they cannot fully participate in holiday functions can lead to depression and isolation. In the event that you cannot spend the actual Thanksgiving holiday with your loved ones (for example, if you live long distances apart or have a job that doesn’t allow it), you can try to make sure to have other family and friends who live close by visit or include your elderly relatives in their gatherings. A simple phone call to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving will mean so much.   For seniors, conversation on a regular basis is important, not just on Thanksgiving or other holidays.

Ways To Celebrate Thanksgiving With Your Elderly Loved Ones

  • Discover ways to include older relatives in festivities, by modifying the celebration! For example; for those who have more difficulty getting around, consider hiring a home health aide to transport and assist your loved one to a family event.
  • If your loved one is unable to come to your celebration, consider bringing a small celebration to your loved one’s Assisted Living Facility (perhaps enjoy the facility’s holiday meal together by bringing a special family recipe to share with the senior community.)
  • Simplify routines and modify traditions to reduce stress and accommodate those relatives with special physical needs.
  • Be conscious of potential difficulties with a holiday if your loved one has any physical or mental limitations. Would your loved one living with dementia be overwhelmed and anxious at the large gathering? If so, plan accordingly.
  • Determine what traditions may be most important to loved ones, and then figure out how to either continue those traditions or modify them into new ways.
  • Feeling a part of the holiday season is important to your elderly loved ones. Offer to help by shopping, running errands, picking up gifts and mailing packages or cards. Assist with gift wrapping, preparing packages and making them feel included in the usual holiday festivities.

From: UnicityHealthCare

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