The Christmas season is a perfect time for you to get together with your friends and family. It is a time when we share our presence, love and gifts with our dear ones; some of us travel home from far to experience all of it. The time of Christmas is most awaited by seniors too, so you should not miss it to make them feel included. Always see that there are Christmas activities for the elderly during the season so that they also can celebrate the festival.
Ways to Celebrate Christmas With Seniors at Home
We know that you sometimes worry about whether your parents will be able to feel included when there are a lot of guests at home. Seniors might need special care during your holiday season, but it should not keep you away from spending that precious time with them. The Christmas season is when they feel more alive as their isolation reduces when there are family and friends at home.
Find ways to engage them in interesting Christmas activities for the elderly such as preparing food using traditional recipes, watching a movie, singing songs, and exchanging gifts, all of which will create wonderful memories for them. Let us look at how you can make them feel special during this Christmas season.
Interesting Christmas Activities for the Elderly
Gift Essentials to Seniors
The best kind of Christmas gifts for seniors at our homes are essential items that will make independent living easier and safer for them. For instance, if your parents find it difficult to get in and out of bed, gifting them objects like a bed step stool as a mobility aid could be the right gift. Seniors who live alone are prone to accidents and falls which can cause serious injury to them. If such is the case with the home your parents live in, you can choose to make it ageing-ready and show them that you care for them all the time. Bathtub step stools can also be a great gift for seniors who struggle to get into a bath every day because staying clean and fresh is a top priority for all of us all the time.
If you worry all the time about the safety of elders and the pandemic while hosting people during Christmas, check out our article on what to clean at home for Christmas.
Cook a Good Meal and That Too, Together if Possible
Cooking yummy Christmas meals and trying out new or traditional recipes is a great way to enjoy your Christmas time with seniors. Always ask them if they would like to engage in cooking with you if they are well. You can ask them to share traditional recipes or even make their favourite recipes as a surprise. Any activity that fills them with a sense of purpose is extremely beneficial for their mental and physical well-being. However, you shouldn’t worry if your parents cannot engage in such activities with you, you can still cook their favourite or a new meal and feed them.
Sing Holiday Songs Together
It doesn’t matter whether the songs you know are Christmas carols or your favourite songs, you can always choose to fill the air with music with your loved ones. Music can improve mood and memory in seniors; it can also keep their blood pressure in check by relieving their anxiety attacks. Such activity can make them recall songs they might have long forgotten and fill them up with so much joy and liveliness.
Watch a Movie Together
Christmas time is a good time to watch a good movie with your family and friends. Say no more if you haven’t done that during the past seasons, it will be a good activity that brings everyone together without having to spend much energy. However, be considerate in selecting a movie seniors too will enjoy watching without having to compromise a lot on the taste of other people as well. Watching a movie is a great escape for them and they forget their worries about their health and age-related illnesses for a while.
The best part about Christmas for kids and even elders are the gifts that pile up at our homes from family and friends when they come over to celebrate at our place. Unwrapping gifts is fun and there is always something to feel excited about. It is also a great light activity that boosts eye-hand coordination. Of course, they might enjoy family time more than any gifts, but having them engaged in appreciating all the love your family receives will make them feel valued too.
Decorate the Christmas Tree
The scents and twinkling lights on the Christmas tree welcome everyone to begin the holiday season with much joy. Set up the tree firmly in your favourite corner and get your elders involved in decorating it. Hang the wreath and stuff the embellishments on it. Ask your parents if they have saved up decorations from the last season because many seniors tend to do that. You can also start conversations about each special ornament they have saved or you might have liked and ended up buying. Make sure to tuck the wirings and electrical cords towards the back or underneath to avoid tripping hazards.
If you are looking for tips on how to prepare your home for a Christmas party, read our guide.
Donate a Few Stuff as Family
The holiday season is filled with generosity. Hence consider spreading some generosity around as well. The sense of purpose in older people tends to increase when they feel like there is a chance to give back to the community. You can also use this as a good occasion to teach your children about the donation by giving away some clothes and toys to a local shelter.
Since elder people tend to engage more in handcrafting such as sewing and knitting, ask them whether they would love to donate some essentials to people in need. You can do this as a family by including your children too in the gesture if your parents are okay with it because bonding through meaningful activities is always different.
If your parents wish to do volunteer work during the Christmas season, ask them to practise personal safety by ensuring that they wear masks and practise social distancing. You can also encourage them to engage in as many virtual volunteering opportunities as the ones that happen over calls as elders can engage in such activities safely.
Take Them Out if Possible
Your neighbourhood will mostly be lit up with lights as the holiday season approaches, and it will only increase just before Christmas day. Your parents might not go out often as they age, so you can take them for a ride in your car with your family so they can enjoy the sights in the streets. Having children during such times will only spruce up the fun and joy, so let them in too.
You will see that the Christmas activities for the elderly are almost the same everywhere, but it will help them greatly to exercise their memory when they do not engage much in such activities during other times of the year. Make sure that they dress appropriately to fight the cold when you are going out during the night. Wearing loose layers of warm clothes will help you greatly; making them wear a hat and scarf will help prevent losing body heat too.
Celebrate Virtually If You Can’t Make it to Home
Consider getting together as a family virtually if you and other members of your family cannot make it home to celebrate it with elders. Thank God! Video calls are now accessible across all platforms like Skype and Zoom, and they are easy to use. However, if your parents find it difficult to operate or set it up, you can ask the caregiver to do it for them to have a Christmas as happy as possible.
You can resort to a professional caregiver from Sendhelper if you want help taking care of your seniors at home. Our professionals provide vital support to seniors and assist them with their daily activities if they are busy and cannot attend to them as much as they want. Our caregivers are experienced and trained to support elders of all ability levels. Getting the service of a trusted professional is important to keep them busy and away from loneliness.
The holidays can be stressful for elders if their needs are not met, especially when they live alone. We should also understand the importance of having to connect with seniors and find time to do it during the Christmas season if possible because everyone yearns for family connection during the festive season. Download the Sendhelper app and book our elderly care service for the days and times you need.
Don't shy away from organising some Christmas activities for the elderly at home this festive season.