Omaha, NE (Vocus) December 7, 2010
The winter holidays generate fond memories of Mom decking out the house in holiday decorations, whipping up that favorite family eggnog recipe, sending out piles of Christmas cards, and coordinating shopping for the entire family.
For many families, those days are long gone. And for so many elderly American moms, dads and grandparents, they’re missed.
Unfortunately, the stakes are higher than absent memories. A senior’s limitations can have dangerous consequences – falls while hanging decorations, hot ovens, and general exhaustion from all the running around. But families can help seniors stay safe and continue to recreate special holiday traditions, with creativity, adaptation and assistance. “Sometimes both family and their caregivers need help during the busy holiday season,” said Paul Hogan, co-founder and chairman of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, who offers these holiday ideas for helping seniors enjoy the season.
-- Gather friends and family for a holiday decorating party to help seniors deck the halls. Be sure to let Grandma or Grandpa direct, without having to climb ladders and over-exert themselves.
-- Plan a day with Mom or Dad when you can sit down and address holiday cards together. It’s a great way to slow down and enjoy a little quite time together during the hectic season.
-- Take some of the effort out of traditional holiday activities by bringing over the necessary supplies for an afternoon of giftwrapping or baking, and be sure to help clean up afterward.
-- Share the holiday spirit by inviting a senior loved one or neighbor to attend a holiday concert, display, or service with your family.
-- Wrap up the season and help fight the post-holiday blues by holding an un-decorating party when it’s time to take down the lights and tinsel. Bring a simple bouquet of flowers from the grocery store to brighten up the home when the holiday glam is packed away.
Home Instead CAREGiversSM often help seniors with these types of activities, as well as with meal preparations, shopping and errands – all tasks that often increase during the busy holiday season.
The organization also helps the elderly in other ways. The Be a Santa to a Senior® program, a North American gift-giving program, targets lonely seniors who are needy or isolated by providing gifts and companionship if they have no family or friends close by. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices partner with non-profit agencies and retailers to identify seniors and their gift requests.
“After gifts are collected for seniors, these offices sponsor community parties where they wrap the gifts before they are delivered to seniors,” Hogan said. “This is a fun event for all ages and one that provides family caregivers with the opportunity to volunteer themselves.”
For more information about the Be a Santa to a Senior program, including where to find participating retailers, consumers can visit beasantatoasenior.com or call the Home Instead Senior Care office in their area.
# # #