By Rose Fabrick, Certified Concierge Care Advisor
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it opens into December, the winter season, the winter solstice, and the December holidays of Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa. Celebrating Thanksgiving reminds me of the blessings I have with my family and friends, and the importance of carrying joy, love and kindness throughout the December holidays.
Today, I received a holiday note written by a special daughter and family caregiver, to let friends and family know how they are doing. She titled it “Claire and Colleen 2019”. It was so wonderful to hear how well her amazing Mother is doing since the early part of 2019, overcoming some health issues along the way, ending the year with joy and laughter for her mom. She included pictures of her and mom, and siblings and friends. Mom graduated from the wheelchair to walking with a walker. Amazing! She is singing, playing Scrabble, eating fudgesicles, looking through a high school yearbook with a girlfriend, and gathering with family and friends. Daughter has new digs and neighborhood to explore, complete with four-legged friends. I can only speak for myself, but I felt fortunate as the recipient of the note to know Claire and Colleen are enjoying life through the ups and downs. Daughter’s request is to send her Mom a Christmas card, with a reminder of who we are and how we touched Mom’s life. A simple, meaningful gift.
There are many simple pleasures that can add joy and memories to the holiday. Especially with our elder loved ones or elders in our neighborhood. Keeping it simple is often necessary – limited mobility and capability, inclement weather outside, etc. – but can bring absolute joy knowing that someone cares. Pickup groceries and other needed items, stop by for tea and conversation, bake cookies.
The activities for elders do not have to be exciting to be special and meaningful. It goes a long way to creating special memories. Here are my favorites:
- Make a holiday wreath
- Assist the elder to decorate their home or your home for the holiday
- Encourage kids to ask their grandparents about the holidays of their youth
- Play simple card games and board games
- Enjoy listening to your elder loved ones favorite tunes
- Sing holiday songs
- Have a family movie night – watch a feel-good movie or fun comedy – with popcorn, pillows and warm blankets to cuddle together. Include your pets
- Cooking and feasting together
- Ask your elder loved one to help with holiday cards – writing, addressing or sealing envelopes
- Ask for their opinion or ideas when you are shopping on-line
Outside the home, enjoy:
- Taking a family walk around the neighborhood or through a local park
- Strolling around the mall and admiring the holiday decorations, early to avoid the crowds. Most seniors are up early
- Eating a delicious meal at a favorite restaurant
- Taking in a local play or musical or holiday show. The Nutcracker or Christmas Traditions at Benaroya Hall or The Seattle Men’s Chorus ‘Tis the Season
- During the holidays, the best gift you can give your elder loved one is time together for socialization, activities, and enjoying good company
- May your holiday be filled with joy, kindness and love!
You may be supporting an elder loved one needing transition and will likely be overwhelmed by the process. There is no need to do this on your own. Reach out for assistance from Concierge Care Advisors. We are experts in navigating the complex senior living landscape, and our service is free of charge for the senior and families we serve. You have our compassion and commitment to make the process fast, convenient and simple. Call us at 855-444-7364.