The Holiday Season is upon us, with all that it brings with it! For many of us, the Holidays are a wonderful time to connect with our family and friends and celebrate life. However, for many seniors, especially those those who have lost a loved one or those who are struggling with their own health issues and feelings of loss of independence, the Holidays can be stressful and confusing. Here are some tips for families and caregivers during the Holiday Season:
Healthy Body Tips
Use healthy alternatives – There is no denying that butter helps produce moist and delicious baked goodies. However, all that buttery goodness can pack on the pounds and clog your arteries. Greek yogurt, canola oil, avocado, and applesauce can be used as butter alternatives. Nix the saturated fat, not the flavor, with healthier alternatives. Also, it can be difficult for your senior loved ones to adhere to their diet when there aren’t any healthy options available. Make sure that you include healthy dishes like salads, fresh fruits, and fish in your menu. Also, limit fats, salty and sugary foods so it would be easier for them to follow dietary guidelines.
Get moving – The winter weather brings with it cold, chilly air and snowfall. Most people spend most of their time indoors, and use this as an excuse not to exercise.
If it’s snowing outside and you can’t walk around the block, we suggest that you take your parents to the mall. You can either do window shopping or go on a shopping spree. Not only will it be a great time to bond with your parents, you also get to tick one item off of your to-do list.
Healthy Mind Tips
Plan ahead – With all those guests in your home and the endless activities you have planned for everyone, mom or dad may end up irritable or exhausted. If mom or dad gets tired easily or is vulnerable to overstimulation, make sure that you schedule time for a nap. It is also a good idea to limit the number of activities they are involved in.
Acknowledge losses – Talk about memories of loved ones. Consider doing a project to memorialize someone who has been lost recently, such as going through and organizing old photos or putting up a memorial ornament.
Make time for your loved one – If your elderly loved one is not close to you, give them the gift of time and togetherness. Plan ahead by doing something like making a video card from the grandkids, or call your loved one and ask for their help with an old family recipe.
Most importantly; over the Holiday Season, be aware of the signs of depression. If someone you care about is withdrawing, or showing little interest in their once favorite activities, not sleeping well, changing eating or drinking patterns, or having trouble remembering, these may be signs that more help may be needed. If you need help providing support to your loved one during the Holidays, Havenwood is here to help. We can provide companionship services ranging from 2 hours, all the way to 24-hour care. Call us today for more information so we can discuss your individual needs.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Havenwood!