Amidst the final days of the festive run up remember to allocate time to your elderly loved ones. Here are simple ways to include elderly loved ones this Christmas to ensure they feel very much in the heart of things. Most of the following suggestions take but a few minutes to arrange so be sure to take the time for what may seem small to you, could make them feel truly thought of.
Give them your unrushed time
Many elderly people don’t have lots of people to talk regularly with and some have none. Be observant of the older members of the family (as well as your older neighbours) and pause for a focused, unrushed conversation with them.
Present them with a particularly thoughtful gift, for example a photo album of the memories you have shared together, with notes or messages throughout. Inexpensive in cost but this takes time, which will be both clear and appreciated.
Remove any potential side worries
Accommodate their pet if they have one and where possible, otherwise they may be worrying about them in the back of their minds and want to get home early.
Encourage memory sharing
Ask them if they have a particularly favourite Christmas they reflect on and if so, encourage them to share what made it so special and memorable. Allow them the time to answer fully and follow this with engaged questions on what they have just shared, don’t allow the topic of conversation to change too rapidly if possible.
Make room for new traditions
Find out in advance what they enjoy doing at Christmas, what is sentimental and traditional to them personally, perhaps since they were very young. Be it a particular game, drink, festival album or film, including these seemly small touches takes minimal effort and will make them feel included.
It’s the little things
Leave a few last minute touches that aren’t too strenuous for them to complete. For instance: the last few (and nicest) decorations to be hung on the tree, the final icing touches to a cake or deciding final music selections.
Awareness of their routine
Try to be conscious that the change in normal routine Christmas tends to bring can be distressing for some older people, keeping within theirs as much as possible will help them. For example, work around the time they usual nap, eat or take their medication.
Be open to a friend joining
Ask them if they have a friend they would like to invite to join your Christmas dinner, especially if that friend would otherwise be alone. A small adjustment for you would make for a significantly better day for them both.
Please refer to the Support and Guidance section of our website for more help if you found this useful, we add new content each week in order to provide ongoing and fresh support material for you. If you feel you need advice or want us to help you find care, please reach out to us. Our health care specialist Rosie will be more than happy to talk with you via our helpline on 0845 050 3317 or email as preferred: firstname.lastname@example.org