The holiday season gives us many reasons to be grateful for family and friends and for the freedom to celebrate. We also have loving and lasting memories of those who are no longer with us.
This season typically includes hosting relatives and friends at your home or visiting the homes of our aging parents and loved ones. The season can also be sometimes difficult and stressful for them, especially if they are living independently or are lonely. Remember, they may not admit they need assistance when they do or are lonely when in fact, they are. If you live in or out of town, this is the time to see how your aging parents and loved ones are living day to day, especially if you haven’t visited them for a while. Just because they say they are doing well, does not mean they are. So, as we continue through the holidays, let’s be positive and proactive. Doing so will make your visit to their home or their visit to yours more enjoyable.
If aging parents and loved ones are living at home:
- See what’s in the refrigerator and food pantry. It’s important to ensure they are eating fresh and healthy food. Use your eyes, nose, and fingers to detect spoiled food. Don’t forget to understand and read the expiration dates on food labels.
- Are smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detectors installed? If not, buy and install those very important safety devices. If the devices are already installed, make sure they are working properly with new “alkaline” batteries.
- Fall hazards can pose problems for seniors. According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths and non-injury related for seniors 65 and older. Do pay attention to items like throw rugs that could cause problems.
Are you a caregiver? If so, in addition to your normal caregiving duties during the holidays, you have probably added gift shopping, parties and family gatherings to your list. To help ease the holiday stress, Agingcare.com lists Five Ways to a Make the Holidays Merry for weary caregivers:
- Taking a Break – Illness rates for family caregivers are higher than non-caregiving peers. Consider respite care during the holidays.
- Asking for Help – Many family members are willing to help. Just ask them.
- Making a “To Do” List – A list keeps you organized during the holiday season.
- Simplifying – Don’t try to do too much. Suggest to friends and family to simplify some things during the holiday season. They will understand.
- Accepting Imperfection – No one is perfect and everyone knows that. Doing the best you can is okay and acceptable.
Assisted Transition of Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky is appreciative of the opportunity to serve and provide you with senior living placement, referral, and advisory services during 2017. We wish you and your family a safe, peaceful, and enjoyable holiday season filled with joy and meaning. Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanza!