Christmas should be a special time for everyone. And while a lot of the attention will go on the younger family members with their mountain of presents and excitement over the visit of a certain big beardy man down the chimney, it is important not to forget the older generations. Winter time can be a quite lonely and isolating time of year for the elderly as the weather makes going outside increasingly difficult and the dark nights draw in. Christmas can provide the only respite in these harsh months and this very special occasion is something a lot look forward to. Therefore, it is important that you include them as much as they want to be involved in the festivities. Here are a few tips on how to go about it.
- Get Out: Although for many people getting all the family in one place is the highlight of the festive period it is nice to see what is happening in the local area. There is nothing like a Christmas market or trip to a Santa’s grotto with the kids to get everyone in the right mood.
- Elderly-friendly Games: A few family members may be very excited about the new Assassins Creed video game this Christmas, but chances are, Grandma will not be that into it. Therefore, you may want to consider a few more inclusive games to get the whole family involved in on the 25th December. Trivia games, board games and other traditional pass times can help with seniors’ mental dexterity as well prove to be a lot of fun. There is also likely to be quiz game show on TV that you can all play along with.
- Eat and Drink Well: This element is another highlight for many at Christmas. However, to keep everyone’s mood up it is wise to prevent people getting too ‘merry’. A balanced diet and enough booze to get into the spirit but not too much is the best way to enjoy Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
- Reminisce: Looking back at past Christmases is a fun exercise for the elderly, although thinking about loved ones who have passed away may be painful. Tread carefully and let them lead such conversations. However, reminiscence is a good way of warding off dementia and can add to the Christmassy feeling of a family get-together.
- Bring the Family Together: Encourage interactions between all the family members, especially those generations who are furthest apart. Interacting with the babies of the family can lighten up an elderly person’s Christmas.
- Look to the Future: Whether you are looking at retirement village options with a provider such as Extra Care or perhaps downsizing an elderly relative’s home to make it more accessible, it is a nice idea to highlight positive moves in the year ahead so the January blues do not hit too hard.