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Navigating the Holidays With Your Aging Parents

Posted by Daystar Retirement Village on Dec 13, 2021 8:00:00 AM

Regardless of whether you’re planning on a low-key holiday season or looking forward to throwing yourself into the myriad of holiday festivities, including senior family members can add a new dimension to your planning.

Navigating the Holidays With Your Aging Parents

Here at Daystar Retirement Village in West Seattle, WA, we are pleased to support families and their senior loved ones through this busy season. In addition to partnering with families to engage their senior loved ones in family celebrations, we offer plenty of festive holiday fun to keep our residents engaged.

Pro Tips for Happy Holidays with Seniors

Honor your emotions- Family dynamics change as seniors grow to require more support, and you may find yourself encompassing the roles your parents used to fill. This might mean preparing the holiday meal or hosting the family gathering for the first time, and this can evoke some complex emotions. It is completely normal to feel both proud and sorrowful as you honor old family traditions in new roles together. We know that tough emotions can bubble up during this time and we encourage caregivers to honor the difficulty that can come with this season and take the best possible care of themselves.

Review the visiting procedures if your loved one lives in residential care, visiting procedures can change in accordance with community health factors depending on the season. Call ahead to make sure you have the most up-to-date information if you aren’t sure.

Set realistic schedules- Understand that you may not be able to pack quite as many activities into a single day when compared to years past. A slower pace may allow you to more fully savor the time you have together. Schedule smaller and more frequent holiday visits to ensure everyone feels their best while you are together.

Enlist the younger generation to bring extra magic- Enjoying the younger generations’ child-like wonder during the holidays can often be the best part of the season. Making sure your senior loved one is part of holiday concerts, storytime, and gift exchanges alongside the kids can create beautiful memories for everyone involved. Take lots of videos of events your loved ones can’t attend in person.

What Do I Buy for My Aging Parents for the Holidays?

Finding the best gift for your loved one can be difficult during a season of life when downsizing is the name of the game. Gifting ideas for seniors can be tricky! Here are some holiday gift ideas we have watched our residents love:

Gift of Experience- Make memories with your loved ones or provide them opportunities for adventure on their own or with their friends. Gifting your senior loved one with an experience is an opportunity to introduce them to something new or to rekindle an old passion. We have seen some fantastic gifts of experience and we’re always looking to add to the list. Some of our favorites include:

  • Movie theater passes
  • Zoo passes
  • Museum passes
  • Local sports teams
  • Fishing/hunting license
  • Charter excursion
  • Guided tour
  • Bowling gift certificate
  • Golf course gift certificate
  • Spa package
  • Theatre tickets
  • Art class
  • Donating to a charity in their name

Practical Items- Sometimes new convenient items hit the market without our older loved ones knowing. Here is a list of some items seniors might enjoy that they are not likely to have on hand:

  • Weighted blanket
  • Bird Feeder
  • Tablet
  • Large text clock
  • Single-serve coffee maker
  • Smart speaker

Consumable Items- Use this opportunity to pamper your senior loved one with some treats. Consider old family favorites and personal preferences to find the right fit for your loved one. Here are some fan favorites from our residents:

  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Fudge
  • Snack gift box
  • Popcorn tin
  • Meal delivery/restaurant gift card

How Do I Make the Holidays Special for My Senior?

Gathering to celebrate family holidays is a great opportunity to connect with your senior loved ones and enjoy special time together. Yearly traditions, favorite holiday songs, or special recipes are etched in memory in a very special way! Use this time to bake together, sing together, or make a holiday craft. If your loved one is interested, revisit some traditions from childhood that have fallen away. Take a stroll down memory lane and look at old photos, but don’t forget to take new ones!

Partner With us to Support Your Senior in West Seattle

Here at Daystar Retirement, we are here to share our expertise all year long, but we especially love this time of year!  We are sending the warmest holiday wishes from our Daystar Family to yours!  Contact us to learn more about our senior apartments, independent living, assisted living, and respite care options and availability, or set up a tour today!

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Tags: Senior Living 101, Senior Health

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