Thanksgiving can be a wonderful time to gather with friends and family and remind each other of the joyousness of the season and the year that is quickly coming to a close. We are reminded of the people, places, and things that we are grateful for and take this opportunity to show that in a variety of ways.
If you have elderly loved ones, gathering for Thanksgiving celebrations can look a little different, but the joy and happiness can remain! Let’s go through a few ways that Thanksgiving can be celebrated with your loved ones of all ages safely and appreciatively.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID pandemic across the globe, our family gatherings have looked very different over the last two years. However, with the discovery and implementation of the COVID vaccines, more and more families are able to spend time with their at-risk loved ones than in the past! With this in mind, there are still precautions to be taken when gathering this Thanksgiving.
Remain Socially Distant Where Possible
When possible, gather with your elderly loved ones at a safe distance. You can sit around a table or in a space that allows for 6 feet of separation while still enjoying and basking in each other's presence.
Spread Out Visit Times
If you have a larger family, consider gathering in smaller groups at separate times with your elderly family. This will limit their exposure to larger groups while still allowing for everyone to have that personal time with each other.
Conduct Video/Virtual Calls When Necessary
If larger gatherings are not feasible or safe for all, consider having a video call or conference with everyone in the family so all can attend and interact at one time!
If you are looking for ways to involve your elderly loved ones in Thanksgiving festivities, try one or a few of these at this year’s gathering to involve everyone in fun and enjoyable experiences without causing undue stress or strife.
Crafts: Thanksgiving crafts are a great opportunity to involve your elderly family members with the rest of the family and even involve the younger generation! Try coming up with simple coloring tasks, lively turkey cut-and-paste activities, or others to keep the attention of all parties while giving your elderly loved ones an opportunity to take home a physical memory of the occasion!
Family Photos: Thanksgiving can be a great opportunity to relive wonderful family memories by looking and reminiscing through family photos or albums! Use this opportunity to remind the older generations of funny and memorable events and times while painting a picture for the younger generations of a different time with their loved ones. Take this time to reflect and appreciate your family history with everyone present, no matter the age!
The Perfect Meal: If you have the opportunity to provide a meal for all of those in attendance this Thanksgiving, use it to involve all guests by cooking their favorite dishes and even involving them in the cooking and preparing process where you can!
Using your senior helpers can be enjoyable, and you may even learn a thing or two from their expertise! By bringing in their favorite foods, you can show that you really care about them and their preferences while sharing them with those you love! This can also bring a sense of normalcy in a time of such uncertainty due to the pandemic.
Help your elderly loved ones feel just as cherished this Thanksgiving season by implementing some of these suggestions this year! Your seniors are a vital part of your family, so making them feel that love is imperative and vital to their mental and physical health. From the senior helpers at Home Instead in Lafayette, LA, we wish you and your loved ones a happy and joyous Thanksgiving and holiday season!