Amid the chaos of daily life, people tend to forget the things that are most important to them, the biggest of which is being with those you love. Each year, the holidays provide much-needed relief to relax, and enjoy the importance of celebrating traditions, strengthening bonds, and filling your stomach with hearty meals. During the holidays, it’s important to consider the seniors in your life, who may need a little extra holiday spirit to make this time of year enjoyable. The Marsh’s Edge team has compiled a list of five tips to assist seniors during the holidays.
1. Give the Gift of Time
Time is the most valuable thing that you can offer, and during the holiday season it means a lot to those who are by themselves. Loneliness can set in during the holidays for seniors who may not have families or loved ones close. Remind them how important they are by visiting, and spending time speaking to them about holiday memories. Additionally, plan a small gathering for them to celebrate with friends or invite them to share a family meal. Putting forth effort to create joy in another person’s holiday is truly the spirit of the season and the best gift that you can give.
2. Host Events
Hosting a big holiday meal and celebration can be a source of stress and anxiety for seniors during the holidays. Preparing a large meal, and cleaning a home to their standards can be time consuming and exhausting. Take time when planning for the holidays, and consider passing the tradition to another family member. Keep seniors involved by asking them to bring a favorite dish or allowing them to assist with the meal. If the person insists on hosting, select volunteers to clean or prepare a part of the meal so that the responsibilities are evenly distributed.
3. Participate in Holiday Activities
Similar to the gift of time, invite the senior(s) in your life to attend holiday events and activities. The season is filled with customs that they may enjoy, including cutting down a tree, seeing the symphony or “Nutcracker” ballet, driving through light displays, tree decorating, cookie making, visiting Santa, attending a tree lighting or visiting a Christmas festival. Participating in events helps bring you closer to one another, build memories; and create new traditions to look forward to for years to come.
4. Assist in Home Winterization
Securing your home from winter weather is a priority for a homeowner, and some seniors may not be able to winterize their homes properly due to mobility issues. Assist them in preparing their homes for winter weather by removing hazardous landscaping (tree limbs, etc.), cleaning gutters for proper drainage, covering and storing lawn and patio furniture, and shutting off exterior faucets. Assisting with these activities will prevent property damage while ensuring their safety.
5. Help with Home Safety
If your senior neighbor or family member is heading to visit family during the holidays, offer to keep an eye on their home and pets or to collect their mail. Empty homes are easy targets for thieves, and having items that are regularly collected piling up can be an easy tip-off that nobody is home. Ensure that their space is kept secure by offering to assist with these small tasks while they’re away.
The most important thing you can do with a senior is to make them feel included in the season. You can do this by simply spending time with them. At Marsh’s Edge, an upscale continuing care retirement community on St. Simons Island, members enjoy unique holiday activities and dining experiences that are spent with family and friends. To learn more about Marsh’s Edge, visit Marshs-Edge.com or call 912-291-2000.