How to Help Your Senior Loved One Manage Holiday Stress

By Pete Lane, 9:00 am on

The holidays can be challenging for anyone, but seniors are especially prone to stress, depression, anxiety and isolation at this time of the year. No matter what an elderly person’s circumstances may be, it is vital for aging adults to take it easy and avoid putting themselves under too much pressure. Following are several strategies that seniors and their caregivers can use to ensure that the holiday season is both manageable and pleasant.

1. Help Seniors Create Feasible Holiday Plans

Seniors often want to spend as much time as they possibly can with family and friends, do lots of shopping, and help with the preparation of big meals. Helping those who are aging in place create feasible plans for the holiday season is essential. Ask seniors whether they can consolidate some of their goals and whether they need any help. Holiday activities can be both mentally and physically exhausting. Family members should make sure that their aging loved ones always pencil in plenty of time to rest.

2. Plan Inter-Generational Activities

Help seniors avoid getting lost in the shuffle of holiday events by planning a number of inter-generational activities. Tree trimming, decorating the home, planning holiday menus, and wrapping gifts are all things that seniors can easily take part in. When seniors have simple yet well-defined roles and responsibilities in the holiday planning process, they are far less likely to take too much on by themselves. They are also less likely to feel overlooked.

3. Set Reasonable Holiday Budgets

One of the greatest sources of stress throughout the holiday season is money. Seniors can work with their family members, caregivers, or financial advisers to set reasonable spending goals for the holiday season. Given that most seniors are living on fixed incomes, they should be encouraged to minimize their spending as much as possible. Families can come together to give group gifts, establish gift exchanges, set gift limits, or bypass gift giving altogether. Helping seniors set holiday budgets and stick to them will alleviate a lot of their seasonal stress.

4. Establish a Stress-Free Shopping Schedule

Battling the hordes at the mall during holiday shopping is hardly ideal for seniors. Aging adults who are determined to shop should be encouraged to take advantage of online shopping instead. When making trips to physical outlets for holiday shopping, seniors should go early and on days when stores are less likely to be over-crowded. If possible, accompany your senior loved one to the mall or consider a part-time Centennial caregiver who can accompany him or her, help carry bags, and assist with other challenging holiday tasks.

5. Create a List and Check It Twice

Given the wealth of shopping, planning, and preparation that the holiday season entails, it is not uncommon for senior needs to get overlooked. Caregivers and other family members should create detailed lists of any needs that their loved ones have, including the days and times of important doctor or dental appointments and the need for medication refills. Opting to use Centennial elder care agencies to assist with transportation duties and other aspects of senior care is a great way for caregivers to avoid overextending themselves throughout the busiest days of the holiday season.

If your aging parent could use additional help during the holiday season, reach out to Home Care Assistance at 303.957.3100. We provide part-time and live-in care for seniors, as well as comprehensive stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care Centennial families trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, we offer flexible care schedules, and we never require clients to sign long-term contracts. Reach out today. We are here to help.