How to Celebrate the Holidays with Your Senior Loved Ones During the Pandemic

by | Dec 30, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Silver Spring MD Home Care
Home Health Care Bethesda MD: Celebrating the Holidays

The holiday season is one of the most anticipated events of the year. It is a special moment of gift-giving and spending quality time with your family and friends. However, due to the pandemic, some people might not relate to the excitement and joy this important occasion brings. 

COVID-19 has forced people to isolate and distance themselves from their loved ones to prevent the spread of infection. This has caused some people to feel lonely, sad, and anxious. 

Others may even feel angry, tired, and depressed. This is especially true for the older generation. According to the Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) website, 43% of seniors feel lonely on a regular basis. This percentage might increase more during the festive season when they experience the holiday blues, plus the added stress brought about by the pandemic.

To help our elderly loved ones battle the melancholy away, here are some simple tips to uplift their disposition so they can genuinely enjoy the spirit of the season even during a global crisis.

  1. Connect virtually
    • Adapting to the new normal can be very difficult for our older family members. Planning a get-together might not be even possible for some areas in the country because of some restrictions. That is why connecting virtually allows family members to stay in touch. Video chatting is more popular and easier for the older generation. Here’s a list of some easy-to-use devices and applications the elders can use. 
  2. Bring back some old family traditions
    • Sharing past stories and reminiscing about good memories can make your elderly loved ones feel special. Incorporating family traditions during reunions can develop the bond between the older and the younger generations of the family. This may include passing on a family meal recipe or watching a certain movie during the eve of Christmas. 
  3. Keep them involved
    • While making plans for the holiday, let us not forget to include our seniors in decision-making. Even if they cannot physically participate, listening while they voice out their opinion can give them a sense of value. Ask them what color should be the theme for the holidays, or what food to include in the menu. For sure they will be more than happy to help in their own little way. 
  4. Stay healthy
    • The holidays can be challenging for some people to stay healthy. They think it’s a hall pass to eat and drink whatever they want, but that shouldn’t be the case. It is vital to consider the health status of the elders in our family when we make choices. We should be aware of their dietary restrictions or food allergies during meal planning. 
  5. Experience something new 
    • Creating new memories to treasure with our elderly loved ones can certainly boost their mood during this season. It doesn’t need to be grand or expensive. It can be as simple as making Christmas cards or baking a cake together. What matters is the allotted time and effort you’ve put to make them feel good.
  6. Prioritize their wants 
    • Oftentimes, we neglect to see that the elders have their own wishes and desires too. Asking them their wants and granting some of those can really make them feel special during the holidays. Most of them are shy to ask, but once you made them feel comfortable they will slowly open up to you. 
  7. Always be safe
    • As we age, we become more susceptible to get COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 8 out of 10 COVID-19 casualties in the U.S are older people aged 65 years old and above. Focusing more on their safety during this pandemic should be on the top of our list. That is why it’s important to take all the necessary precautions we can to avoid spreading and infecting our older family members. This includes not letting them travel to attend holiday festivities if it’s too risky, or making them wear masks and practicing social distancing when other family members visit. 

If you or an aging loved-one is considering home care services in Bethesda, MD, please contact the caring staff at Nest & Care today at (240) 690-9900. 

Katharina Villanueva

Katharina Villanueva

RN, BSN, CCRN-K, SCRN, CNRN, DN, CDP

Kat is the founder of Nest & Care LLC, a Private Duty In-Home Care agency providing companion care, personal care, and skilled nursing services to families in and around Montgomery County and Howard County, MD.

For the past 15 years, she has devoted her nursing career to caring for patients with Neurologic or Neurosurgical conditions in the acute, subacute and chronic phases. She worked at Keck Medical Center of USC in Los Angeles, California before moving to Maryland where she exclusively worked with patients with stroke as a stroke program coordinator at Providence Hospital.

She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines in 1998. Kat is married to Mikael, a pediatric surgeon. They have 3 boys and 3 dogs.