Holidays and Older Adults



Holidays are a time of togetherness and joy. However, for older adults, it can be stressful or depressing, especially if they live alone. It is important to pay attention to our aging parents, friends, and neighbors this time of year.

Help them enjoy the holidays more by following these suggestions:

  • Extend an invitation to include them in holiday activities
  • Take them on a drive to look at holiday lights or attend a child’s holiday programs
  • Talk about holiday traditions and memories, look at photo albums, or watch favorite holiday movies together
  • If you do not live close by, communicate a little extra with the older family members during this time

Older adults will often choose not to participate in holiday activities because of safety concerns. There are several ways to help ease that worry so they can enjoy the holiday festivities:

  • Encourage healthy choices for meals and holiday treats, and watch that they stay hydrated
  • Make sure they are comfortable asking for help when needed
  • Many on a fixed income worry about getting gifts for everyone. Lower that stress by having a family grab bag or drawing numbers
  • Check batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms for older adults
  • Remove rugs or use non-slip pads
  • Clear walkways and similar areas of obstacles or snow

Learn more:

How to Make Holidays Brighter for Aging Family and Friends [Internet] Available from:   https://www.ndsu.edu/agriculture/extension/extension-topics/home-and-family/aging-well/health-and-well-being/how-make-holidays

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