Many families are faced with changing or cancelling holiday plans due to taking precautions to protect the health and safety of themselves and their loved ones from the coronavirus. Many of our Guests are immunocompromised and live with social restrictions during this time. Because of these factors, many seniors might start feeling the full weight of a holiday season that is completely unlike years past. So, let us see what we can do to support our loved ones during this holiday season.
Keep Family Traditions:
Think about the traditions that you enjoyed doing over the holiday season with your loved ones? How will you create new memories while keeping you and your loved ones safe during this COVID-19 pandemic? When I think of the tradition that I most enjoyed with my grandmother, it was making cookies and decorating the house for the holidays. My grandmother would decorate for Christmas and Thanksgiving at Thanksgiving. She would prepare an entire meal from scratch and I was her little helper of course! Oh, my goodness, I smell the aroma even as I write this blog. I will forever hold those memories in my heart.
Let us KEEP FAMILY TRADITIONS going, why not deliver a batch of your freshly baked cookies to your loved one’s doorstep! If you have a tradition of decorating ornaments? Send your loved ones some homemade ornaments along with the supplies they need to create matching ones! Holiday meals might only include members of your household this year, but that doesn’t mean grandma and grandpa have to be left out. Drop off a plate or two and some dessert! Finding little ways to keep traditions going are one way to lift the spirits of your loved one in this holiday season.
Reach out and TOUCH:
Communication is the most important thing people can do to help combat isolation in older adults. How we communicate with our loved ones has evolved over the past nine-months to say the least. Older adults are now utilizing tele-health to see their doctors, video chats to see their families and Facebook to play BINGO. We know that social engagement and intellectual stimulation are critical to one’s wellbeing, memory, and mood. There are several observational studies that demonstrate how social engagement and cognitive stimulation can delay or prevent onset of dementia (Zietlow, Wong, Heflin, 2020). Even before the pandemic, social isolation was a threat to the well-being of older adults. Social isolation and loneliness were identified as “serious public health risks” by the National Academy of Medicine in 2020.
Let us KEEP FAMILY TRAIDITIONS going, why not drop an old fashion holiday greeting card in the mail to your loved one. Better yet, drop off the paper and art supplies to create a card. Connect with your loved one via zoom or Skype and let the card making festivities begin and let’s put an end to isolation.
While your family’s traditions might look a little bit different this year, it is still important to find ways to keep them and keep you loved one safe from this virus.
STAY CONNECTED IN NEW WAYS
Social distancing does not mean social disconnecting (even if it feels easier to hibernate until this is all over). In the new normal you can still connect with family and friends – just in different ways! At Independent Adult Day Centers, we are serving our Guests and we are social distancing. It is our goal to maintain all of our IADC FAMILY TRADITIONS, by enjoying a social distanced Thanksgiving feast with our Guests and caregivers and care-partners, we will trim our tree and bless our families by continuing to provide services in a safe and Covid free environment as much as possible. We are here to meet your caregiving needs through one of our many services. Please don’t do the holidays alone we are here to support you and keep you safe. Happy Holidays.
Zietlow, K., Wong, P. S., Heflin, M. (2020). Virtual resources for older adults during the COVID19 pandemic. Retrieved from: https://www.geripal.org/2020/09/Virtual-Resources-for-Older-Adults-COVID19.html