Tips For Seniors During the Holidays

December 11, 2015

Holidays can be a difficult time for the elderly. Many older adults may be recovering from illness, at risk for new health problems or overindulging in too much of a good thing. There are several tips to help your older family members and friends get through the holidays successfully.


  1. Avoid too much activity. Some conditions with aging can cause agitation especially with dementia patients. Tune into the amount of activity in their surroundings during the holidays and adapt as necessary.
  2. Too many unrealistic expectations. Many families follow traditions every year during the holidays. If your senior is not in good health, in may be time to have dinner at someone else’s home or start a new tradition. Try to get family members to set realistic expectations.
  3. Too much noise. Elderly often have hearing impairments and wear hearing aids. A loud party may make it difficult to hear or understand conversations. A quiet room would be better for them to enjoy with only a few people around to chat with at a time.
  4. Too much sugar. Many older adults are living with diabetes or restricted food plans. Sugar and rich foods can be a big temptation, so be ready to offer plenty of good choices like vegetables, fruits and sugar-free desserts.
  5. Too many visitors. Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia could react negatively to too many visitors especially if they are having a difficult time recognizing familiar faces. A huge holiday party, a crowded public event or a church service may not be the right time to subject them to large groups of people.
  6. Too much stress. Being stressed during the holidays isn’t fun for anyone. Ask your older adult if they need additional help or someone to come over and offer respite care to help them feel more in control and secure.
  7. Too many memories. Many seniors enjoy reminiscing and discussing the past, however, be cautious about sharing memories that might be painful due to a recent death in the family or other traumatic event. The emotional wounds may be to fresh during the holidays.




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