How to Make the Holidays Special for your Home-Bound Loved One
on Monday, December 18, 2017
The holidays can be a challenging time, especially for those with who are dealing with issues due to chronic health concerns, aging or dementia. Illness, frailty and exhaustion can prevent loved ones from shopping, going to holiday events or gathering with friends or family. Being housebound can lead to anxiety and depression at any time of the year but those feelings may be intensified during the holidays.
Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help your loved one keep family traditions and enjoy the holiday season even if they can’t leave their home.
Wrapping: If your loved one enjoys wrapping gifts, take the wrapping supplies and gifts to his or her home. You may have to supervise the cutting of the wrapping paper, bring in pre-cut sheets, or use gift-bags. Ribbon can be pre-cut as well. It’s important to keep in mind that the goal of this project isn’t perfection, but participation in the wrapping activity.
Singing: If your loved one enjoys Christmas carols, bring holiday music into the home. CDs, DVDs, web-based, streaming, and online music makes carols readily available. Check local resources – churches, schools, volunteer organizations – to see if volunteers are available to go to the home and sing with your loved one.
Gathering with loved ones: This is perhaps one of the most significant obstacles of the holidays. Riding in a car, or flying, for any length of time is a rigorous exercise. Technology can help erase the miles between friends and family members. Try using a laptop and Skype, FaceTime or similar smartphone apps to bring you all into the same room. It’s a good idea to schedule these visits more regularly during the holidays so that your loved one can watch their children and grandchildren decorating the tree, lighting the menorah or opening gifts.
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