Celebrating this holiday season during a year of significant pain and suffering is going to be difficult. This pandemic has created obstacles no one was prepared for and unfortunately our senior population has continued to be hit the hardest. This is why it is more important than ever that we show up for our senior loved ones this time holiday season. No matter what beliefs you may have or what traditions you may celebrate, there are ways to make the seniors in your life feel cared for this holiday season.
Here are our tips on loving your senior loved ones this holiday season!
Get creative and be safe with spending time together
With the burden of social distancing, seeing your older loved ones can be tricky. Especially if they are in assisted living or a retirement home. The power of technology can help bring you closer. Video chatting software like Zoom and Skype or apps like Facetime and Whatsapp are the easiest ways to virtually love on your family and friends in the middle of a pandemic!
If you MUST see a senior loved one in person… be sure to follow the CDC’s guidelines
The CDC recommends that before you see a loved one at high risk for contracting the virus, you must first:
- Get a negative COVID-19 test.
- If you can, try to quarantine for 14 days before your scheduled visit.
- Make sure everyone is wearing a mask during your visit, including both you and your elderly loved one(s).
- Maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet throughout your visit.
- Lastly, do not bring any additional guests who haven’t been quarantining or haven’t received a negative test.
Have a phone date!
It might sound old fashion to millennials, but calling or scheduling a time to talk on the phone with your senior loved ones is simple on both ends. Receiving and maintaining regular communication is healthy and good for the soul, so be sure you are nurturing your loved ones with a simple ring! You never know how much a conversation letting someone know how much you care about them can mean, especially during the holiday season.
Drop off your traditional holiday meals
The holidays are all about the food and the smell of your traditional holiday meals. Since it is advised to not eat with your senior loved ones this year, why not bring the holiday to them! You can cook their favorite traditional holiday baked goods, dishes, etc.
If they reside in an assisted living facility or nursing home, bring familiar treats that represent your holiday customs for your elder to enjoy and share with his or her friends. You can even include festive decorations according to their taste or how their home was decorated before their time in assisted living.
Just be sure your senior loved ones know they are loved
The most important thing you can do with a senior is to make them feel loved, whatever that means for them. You know them best. Whether that means looking at family photos, watching home videos, or enjoying their favorite holiday movies, make sure it happens! You can always send them their favorite seasonal music or treats. Regardless of however you decide to reach out to your loved ones, make sure it is how they feel loved.