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Caring for Senior Relatives Over the Holidays

Are you home for the holidays?  Is your nest full of siblings, spouses, sons, daughters, cousins, and children? We know that hosting family can be stressful, which is why we’ve directed this post towards those who may be guests in the home of a senior loved one or their family-member caregivers. Having help from willing relatives can do so much to ease these relatives’ minds and relieve their stress. According to the Population Reference Bureau, family members provide more than 95% of informal care for older adults who do not live in nursing homes. If family like unoccupied teens or lounging uncles are willing and able to assist with senior care, here are some helpful tips for them!

Home Safety

Especially for seniors who live on their own, housing maintenance may fall to a lower priority.  Particularly during the holidays, it is important to ensure home safety since winter wear and weather is impossible to avoid. A handy loved one should check a senior’s heating system, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and plumbing. Should any issues arise, take time to schedule a home visit from the best inspectors and servicemen.

Family Availability

Research has shown that a senior’s care is most likely to fall on the shoulders of their spouse or one of their children. A single family member responsible for senior care may be overwhelmed with additional duties, especially during the holidays. If a family caregiver’s availability is limited, loved ones can fill senior care gaps by helping seniors accomplish things that will enhance their lives and well-being. Tech-savvy teenagers can populate tablets or mp3 players with senior’s favorite music, books, pictures, and videos. Millennials with safe driving habits finally have time to drive seniors while shopping or sightseeing. Loved ones of any age should look for ways to make seniors in their lives feel comfortable, cared-for and loved.

Source: "Today's Research on Aging," by the Population Reference Bureau

Source: “Today’s Research on Aging,” by the Population Reference Bureau

Shopping

Shopping is one of the most common types of assistance needed by seniors living outside of nursing homes. Busy shopping centers are hotbeds for car accidents, theft, lost belongings, and infinite chaos during this time of year. When everyone is buying presents and food for their celebrations, crowds and confusion inhibit many seniors from shopping safely. Whether it be a responsible teen or sibling, family members can escort seniors to and from their shopping destinations. Many elderly loved ones need help with money transactions, in-store mobility, and watching items they’ve purchased to prevent them from being stolen. Warm company and conversation are also always appreciated.

Medical Appointments

Seniors who need details simpllified and are short of hearing should get help setting their necessary doctors appointments. Senior health may be complex to manage when there are multiple issues, physicians, and visits to consider. Loved ones in the family who are familiar with their senior’s needs are perfect health liaisons during the holidays. Those quick to understand where, when, and who performs the treatment can easily schedule up to a month’s worth of appointments ahead of time.

Diet

Health hinges so heavily on what your elderly loved one eats.  Putting care into meals should not be something that only happens around this time of year.  Besides visiting the family’s favorite restaurant or grocery shopping for healthy food, caring for seniors during the holidays may mean something more. When your loved ones are home, prepare familiar meals that invoke precious memories. Family recipes, perhaps originated with the senior you care for, are special during this spirited season. Healthy, home-cooked meals fill everyone with both good nutrition and holiday spirit.

If you are still looking for the perfect gift for your elderly loved one, click here!

 

“Caring for Senior Relatives Over the Holidays,” Written by Michelle Mendoza, Amada Contributor

 

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