Celebrating Holidays with Aging Loved Ones? Here’s What to Avoid


Everyone wants their holiday celebrations to be joyful and stress-free, particularly if you are a caregiver for an elderly family member. You want your loved one to have a holiday they can enjoy, without it taking too much of a toll on you physically or emotionally. To help ensure you and your senior family member both navigate the holidays with the least amount of stress or disruption as possible, here are a few things to avoid.

What Not to do During the Holidays

Don’t make their plans for them. Your elderly loved one may not want to participate in every holiday event you have planned. They may not want to go shopping, see Christmas lights, or even attend a holiday gathering or family meal at your home. Instead of insisting that its best for them to be involved in all things holiday related, allow them to enjoy the season at their own pace. This is also beneficial for you, as it relieves you of any added pressure.

Don’t assume the holidays make them happy. The holidays can be an emotionally difficult time for the elderly, as the death of a spouse, losing contact with friends, declining health, and memory changes are just a few of the things that can cause feelings of grief and sadness for your senior family member. When celebrating holidays with aging loved ones, allow them to share their feelings or speak about how they feel, even if it’s not all sunshine and happiness. Your understanding and support can help them release feelings that may be causing depression or distress, and that’s something you can both appreciate.

Don’t force the holidays on them. It’s important to remember that as we age, we experience different life circumstances that can make us less likely or able to participate in holiday events. Be mindful of your expectations, and don’t be afraid to let go of how things used to be. Holidays with aging loved ones can still be enjoyable, as long as you focus on appreciating who your loved one is now and creating new memories.

Everyone can agree that celebrating the holidays with an aging loved one can be emotional and even a little difficult. Hopefully, however, these tips will help you navigate this time of year with a little more grace, joy, and happiness for every family member.

Grand Oaks of Jensen Beach provides a safe and loving space for your aging loved one to enjoy themselves in their own way. Stop by for a complimentary tour or call 772-209-3119 today.

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