Forging New Customs

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There is something magical about this time of year. Holiday traditions aren’t necessarily about the actions themselves, so much as the connections they create. It’s especially important this time of year for generations to reconnect with one another. And while baking, shopping, decorating, wrapping and writing cards together are often on the list of family traditions, they can often feel more like work – especially for people in the middle generations who have so much on their to-do lists already.

Here are a few more relaxing, easy alternatives that family members of every age can enjoy together, year after year:

  •  Bring last year’s holiday cards and cut them out to make a collage (or découpage something) together, and write the date on it. Every year, you can display the collection from all the preceding years.
  • Plant paperwhites or amaryllis and watch them bloom and grow, bloom and grow forever (or at least for the duration of the season).
  • Get seasonal mani/pedis together or have a spa day
  • Go Christmas caroling – even if the only audience is the family pet
  • Have a white elephant, or Yankee swap, gift exchange

For seniors affected by Alzheimer’s or other Dementias, the Alzheimer’s Association has published a list of 101 activities for kids and teens to do with someone with Alzheimer’s. There are activities on the list for people at every stage of dementia, and many of them can be tailored to suit the holiday season. Here are a few variations:

  •  Instead of tossing a ball, you can spin a dreidel or toss a small plush ornament
  • For sorting poker chips, sub in chocolate coins wrapped in holiday colors
  • Read classic holiday stories or poems to them (e.g.: A Christmas Carol, The Gift of the Magi, Rudolph, Frosty, A Visit From St. Nicholas, or passages from the Bible or Talmud). Even if they are no longer following your words, it can be a peaceful way to spend time together.
  • Use watercolors to each paint a holiday scene or picture from a coloring book

We hope you and your family are having a wonderful holiday season. For more information about caring for seniors, please contact us!



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