How to make the holidays special with the elderly

As the days shorten and cool, we enter the holiday season, a time of connection, and memory-making. The arts offer a meaningful medium for this memory-making, especially for those living with dementia and their loved ones. As the Covid pandemic continues, it is especially important to take care of the elderly and make sure they stay safe.

A woman in blue shirt standing next to a person.

The most meaningful engagements will be ones tied to personal history and preference. Below are some ideas to help spark your imagination:

  • Have a virtual tasting party. Arrange various foods on the table. Spend time looking at, touching, smelling, and tasting them. Different foods may spark stories or ideas from the past, or maybe it is all about the here and now.
  • Make a family recipe over Zoom. Is there a meaningful family recipe? Make it together. Deliver the recipe to others to share.
  • Make a collage and deliver it to your loved ones. Collect past family holiday photos or generic collage materials for this craft project. You can use this to decorate or digitize it and make copies.
  • Write a poem. Start by just talking about the holidays and look at what emerges. Depending on how much language your loved one has access to, get creative. Maybe just listen to them and copy down poetic turns of phrase. Let them be the poet, and you can be the editor.
  • Create video messages. You can be as simple or creative as you want with this. When we cannot be together in person, having a video can mean a lot now and later.
  • Dress up and watch a favorite holiday movie. Does your family have a go-to holiday movie? Dress up as a favorite character. Make a themed snack or beverage. You can turn your TV room into a whole other world this way. Snap a photo and send it to a loved one.

Technology for Staying Connected

To help older adults feel involved, purposeful, and less lonely during the pandemic:

  • Show them how to video chat with others using smartphones, laptops, or tablets.
  • Use apps on these devices to provide captions for adults with hearing challenges.
  • Encourage friends and family outside of your household to telephone, write notes, or send cards to lift your loved one’s spirits.
A nurse is helping an older woman in bed.

Our Staff at A Caring Hand Services is here to help with all your family needs. Call us today! All the staff members are screened daily for COVID-19 and trained on how to protect clients and prevent the spread of COVID-19. All HHAs are also required to wear a mask at all times. We are committed to making your loved ones’ holiday season feel joyous and safe this year.