Are you one of those people who love everything about the holidays? You know, all the shopping, the baking, the gatherings and the extra hustle bustle? Is that how Mom was when you were growing up? Did Dad love to prepare the fireplace and have garland around the front door?
Just because they have gotten older doesn’t mean they don’t still love the same things. In fact, now they might be wishing for them more than ever – they just might not have the energy and stamina to do it all any more. Because of that they might seem more emotional or frustrated and less festive than ever before.
We hear their feelings when we talk to clients every day, which is another perk to the Keeping In Touch Solutions daily check-in program. Aging folks have someone to talk to and express their feelings, especially when it’s difficult to share them with their children or other loved ones. But we hear them and would like to pass on to you some things that would make the holidays better for them – and for you.
Neither Mom nor Grandma wants another scarf, candle holder, or pair of slippers. In fact, there are a lot of things they would like that you can’t add to a shopping list. Consider gifting them with holidays that include them in the hustle and bustle – on their terms – and create memories that will be treasured more than any new pair of slippers …
Schedule a 3-part system for preparing for holiday gifting …
Part 1 – The Plan
Hold a lunch to do some planning. Decide who to buy gifts for, what to buy, where to shop and when the shopping will occur. The beauty in this is that Mom gets to express who she wants to buy gifts for and gets some help in deciding what to get them. This can be helpful for family members like grandchildren. Then, she knows someone will help her implement the plan and she will be ready for gift-giving on that holiday.
Part 2 – The Shopping
Having the plan in hand means that the route and the buying can be focused to help Mom accomplish her goals without wasting any of her energy. Plus, if Mom gets tired, there will be others there to gather choices and let her make selections instead of her ferreting out all the choices. If needed, be sure to get wrapping supplies, too.
Part 3 – The Wrapping
Plan a wrapping party! You can’t imagine how much Mom would appreciate help with this task, especially if she struggles with a condition like arthritis or has some other issue that limits her mobility. It is tiring and difficult to manipulate folding corners and handling tape with stiff fingers and hands. Place the wrapped packages under her tree because that makes every home more festive – even if you live alone. Or, if she prefers, you can pack them all into a large shopping bag for easy transport to the holiday gathering.
While these are all ways to help Mom or Grandma manage the extra and happy demands of a holiday, they are also gifts in and of themselves. They may tire Mom out, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to do them! And, you are giving her the opportunity to participate in what she loves with people she loves. That is a great alternative to her deciding that she just won’t try to do anything.
Holidays can be one of the most difficult times for seniors. They can’t “do them up” like they used to on their own so they just give up and let it go – and then get depressed. There are two steps you can take to reduce the risk of depression for your aging loved ones.
Make this holiday really special for everyone. Share the happy times and the preparation for holidays throughout the weeks building up to them. Watch Mom perk up and build those memories that begin, Remember when we … .
A daily check-in call could be the lifeline, the joy you give someone that makes the biggest difference in their perception of what old age is like.
Contact me at 317-480-1038 today. Let’s make a difference together.
I’m Diana Beam, Founder of Keeping in Touch Solutions. It is my heartfelt desire for every person to live a happy and healthy life in the place they call home, no matter what their age. You can’t put a price on peace of mind for your parents and yourself. It’s priceless . . . and significant.
For that reason, the goal of every Keeping In Touch Solutions program is to provide a caring connection and service that both the elderly and their caregivers can rely on to make living that good life easier.