The holiday season is upon us and with that comes the hustle and bustle of shopping, baking, hosting and celebrating. Seniors may not be as active as they once were, but this doesn’t mean they don’t want to engage in the holidays just as much as ever. Reduced mobility, stamina and available transportation often make tasks that are easy for us unmanageable for the elderly.
As part of your Christmas celebrations this year, consider focusing on making the holidays bright for a senior in your life. Do you have a neighbor, aunt, parent or grandparent who could use some assistance? Here are some ways to help them have a merry Christmas and happy New Year!
- Help with decorating. When you can’t move quickly or have to use a walker or wheelchair to get around, decorating may be impossible. Lend a hand and put up lights and decorations outside for seniors to feel a part of the neighborhood. Have a little gathering of family or friends and decorate their tree together. You don’t have to go all out, either. If your loved one is in a care facility, a small tree in their room can add a lot of cheer.
- Take them shopping. You or another family member could take them to the mall to complete their holiday shopping. Grab things from top shelves, carry bags and help them come up with unique ideas for everyone on their list. Don’t forget to pick up wrapping supplies while you’re out!
- Wrap with them. Have a wrapping party. Fix hot tea or cocoa, light a fire, turn on holiday music and spend some time reminiscing about Christmases past while you help them wrap their gifts. These simple moments are what the holidays are all about.
- Help with holiday baking. Before you head over to bake, ask your loved one to pull out the recipes for each item and create a shopping list. Pick up the items they need from the store and bring them on baking day. You can assist with items that require more strength and mobility, like heavy stirring, getting items in and out of the oven, and gathering items from the pantry and fridge. Elderly often have many special memories centered around food and their treasured recipes. Take the time to learn about their past.
- Address holiday cards together. Many seniors suffer from arthritis in their hands, making small tasks difficult. Have them sign their cards and offer to write out the addresses to minimize their work. You can chat about each family as you seal them up and send them off. (You can ask if they need you to buy cards or stamps, too! Picking these up is a nice gesture.)
- Allow them to play host or hostess. Sometimes as seniors age, they can feel less and less relevant. If you have a loved one who used to host every family gathering and loves to host, let them! Have the event at their home if you’re able, or yours if you aren’t. They can choose foods, music, activities and invite the guests. Hosting family gatherings can bring back wonderful memories and boost their confidence.
At Errand Works, we know the holidays make for a busy season. If you want to make the most of your time with the seniors in your life, let us help! We can pick up the cards and stamps, baking ingredients and wrapping supplies. We can pick up catered foods for special gatherings or even take your loved one shopping so they can pick out that perfect gift for you! And if these are tasks you’d prefer to handle, let us ease the stress of your to-do list by handling your dry cleaning, vet visits, auto care and other errands. Our certified professionals are here to help you make the holidays — and every day — more doable. Happy holidays to you and yours!