10 Ways to Enhance Holiday Celebrations for Senior Loved Ones

Enter the Hangout

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By Matt Milstead

Around the holidays, the whole family gets excited about the upcoming family dinner at Mom’s house. As a master of holiday meal preparation, Mom knows exactly how to cook turkey, stuffing and her famous potatoes to everyone’s liking. Unfortunately, Mom’s holiday gusto has decreased in the past few years. With each year’s holiday meal, everyone has has been noticing that the preparation is more of a strain on Mom than the year before.

Unfortunately, this story is quite common. As family members get older, handling the holiday celebrations can become difficult or impossible. By taking the following 10 steps, families can pitch in and enhance the holiday cheer for senior family members.

1. Change the menu

If Mom has trouble making the holiday meal, have everybody put on a chef’s hat. This way, Mom can feel included by guiding the process while the younger cooks learn some of the family’s biggest culinary secrets.

2. Eat earlier

As people get older, they’re often at their best during the daytime. You can make the holiday celebration easier for them by opting for lunch instead of dinner. If you worship, try to attend an earlier service.

3. Keep it simple

Everybody loves seeing a fully decorated home around the holidays, but senior relatives may be unable to carry and place decorations due to joint pain and neurological problems. Instead, discuss with friends and family about which decorations should be kept and which should be eliminated.

4. Give them a hand

Many seniors suffer from arthritis, which can make card signing, gift wrapping and meal preparation difficult or impossible. You can be a huge help by offering to handle the tasks they can’t. If you help seniors with online shopping and cards, they can avoid hectic holiday shopping altogether.

5. Help where you can

If a relative can’t hear the festivities, speak up or help them acquire a hearing aid. For older family members who can’t read small handwriting, use larger writing in your notes and cards to them.

6. Go for a drive

A tour of the local holiday lights can quickly bring back the holiday magic for aging relatives. When elderly relatives are unable to decorate, this tour is a great way to compensate for possible feelings of loss they may have.

7. Use video chat

Seniors are more likely to experience loneliness, especially around the holidays. If you’re a long distance from elderly loved ones, consider using video chat to stay closer around this time of year.

8. Reminisce together

Older adults with dementia love the chance to relive older memories that they cherish. Play your love one’s favorite holiday songs and encourage them to tell you about their holiday memories for a celebration you’ll both enjoy.

9. Create new memories

If a family member can’t celebrate with everyone else, change things up to include them. For example, you can make a holiday video that shows the best parts of the festivities. You can also hire friends to sing traditional holiday songs to your elderly loved one.

10. Call a caregiver

If you can’t take care of everything on your own, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional. A caregiver can help handle cooking, transportation and other responsibilities that burden you around the holidays. You may find that hiring home care in Brisbane gives you more time to spend with your older relatives.

About Our Founder

Cascia Talbert is a busy blogger,  and mother of five children, living in Spokane, WA. With a B.A. in history and law and a passion for writing and staying healthy, she started The Healthy Moms Magazine in 2007. The Healthy Moms Magazine is currently ranked the top health blog for moms. Ms. Talbert believes that if mothers are well educated on health issues and how to stay healthy, they can pass that information down to their children and reverse the childhood obesity statistics in the U.S.


Ms. Talbert  runs the Healthy Moms Social Network on Ning, is the founder of Healthy Moms Media, and is the Chief Marketing Officer for Talbert Nutrition LLC. You can follow her on facebook.com/TheHealthyMomsMag, and twitter.com/cltalbert.


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10 Ways to Enhance Holiday Celebrations for Senior Loved Ones
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One Response

  1. Anonymous April 4, 2013

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