Not all holiday seasons are created equal. Hopefully, we've all had our years when everything came together perfectly and we truly felt the magic of the season. But, it's just as likely that we've had some years when we just couldn't get into the holiday spirit.
This is especially true during years when we've lost a loved one, received a devastating diagnosis, or experienced a dramatic decline in health. These holidays can be difficult for older adults and their families, but there are still ways to make them meaningful.
Acknowledge the grief: Even though we'd all love for things to go perfectly, all the time, most grief is better dealt with head-on. Having a few family discussions about why you and/or your senior loved one might be a little down this holiday season, should help everyone understand what's happening and give you the patience and compassion you need.
Create an atmosphere: During tough years, people often say, "I'm not even going to decorate this year." Which is understandable, but keeping away all symbols of holiday cheer can make the season even bleaker. Even just a wreath or a few mementos can help brighten things up a little.
Spend time remembering joyful seasons past: Looking through photo albums (or old family movies if you have them) and reminiscing about happier times may bring up some emotions, but if you use the activity as a reminder of the wonderful life you've had, it can help you replace some of your grief with gratitude.
Keep the family traditions alive: Continuing – or even resurrecting – a beloved family tradition can be reassuring and help your family create new memories to last a lifetime. It can be caroling together, looking at lights, holiday baking, college bowl games – anything brings families together.
All of us at Home Instead Senior Care wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy holiday season.
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