Welcome to Senior News! This is a monthly article that will focus on topics and provide tips that are important to seniors. The goal of Senior News is to provide education and be a community resource to seniors, their families and friends.
MY FAVORITE TIME OF THE YEAR! The holidays are a time of the year for festivities, fellowship and fun gatherings with family and friends. That’s GREAT! But, for seniors, this may not always be the case. It may bring increased isolation because their family may be out shopping, preparing for the holidays and seniors may be ‘stuck’ at home due to physical limitations. Remember everyone wants to be a part of the holiday activities, including seniors.
Family members should consider that seniors may want to get out of their home to experience the joy of the season as well. If no one in the family is available, a caregiver can be hired to take the senior to the mall to pick up a few gifts or just to walk around to look at lights and enjoy the festivities.
There are several things seniors can do to engage in the festivities of the holidays and enjoy the season. Seniors consider these suggestions:
Change Traditions - if you traditionally hosted the holiday meals, consider changing the tradition and passing it on to the younger generation of family members. Have someone else host the big holiday meals.
Decorate - Start by having someone help pull out your holiday decorations. You may not be able to decorate like you used to in the past so decorate modestly. Get help PUTTING UP holiday decorations. Don’t do it yourself. A few items here and there are all you need. Remember to use flame-resistant decorations. And, do not leave lights on overnight.
Decrease Gifts - Most seniors are on a fixed income, so the holidays can be a financial challenge due to the need to purchase gifts for family members. To help relieve stress from buying so many gifts, consider having a family grab bag, where everyone contributes ONE gift.
Drink in Moderation - Many people like to take a drink of alcohol to celebrate the holidays. Remember drinking too much can impair functions, and for seniors, drinking alcohol with certain medications can have adverse side effects. Consider one alcoholic drink or alcohol-free drinks so everyone can celebrate the holidays safely. Be safe, have a designated driver to take you home.
Take Breaks - Between parties and shopping, the holidays often involve busy days and late nights. If you are planning an all-day outing, carve some time for a nap or a way to relax for a bit, even if it is just to sip tea on a bench.
Stay Hydrated - Drinking water is one way you can stay healthy during the holidays. Seniors need to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. To make it easier to stay hydrated, keep bottled water in your purse or a bag when out shopping.
Stay Healthy - Seniors are more prone to seasonal influenza and colds. So, it is recommended that they get a flu shot but check with your doctor first.
So, this holiday season, go out and enjoy the festivities of the season; spend time with your family, but remember to get your flu shot, stay hydrated, and spread great cheer to everyone. Happy Holidays!