Thanksgiving is an opportunity to be with family. That being said, it can be difficult to come up with ways to make it truly enjoyable for seniors battling dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or the difficulties of aging. Here are just some ideas to get started on how to celebrate with senior loved ones during this holiday season.
Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving with your Seniors if Apart
A key starting point is to remember not to leave your seniors alone on Thanksgiving. Even if you are prevented from gathering in person for Thanksgiving with your seniors here are a few ideas to celebrate together:
- Phone call or have family or friends nearby visit.
- Stagger visits over the course of November to avoid heavy traffic in your community during Thanksgiving weekend. This also maintains the important connection with your seniors beyond a single day or holiday weekend.
- Get help from a caretaker to set up a family video call on Thanksgiving. You can even ask family members to prepare what they are thankful for and share that, as well as pull out some favorite old family photos.
Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving with your Seniors if Together in-Person
Here are some more ideas to get involved with you seniors that can happen when gathered in-person. Some preparation can allow for the focus to be on the joy for being together:
- If there is concern about social distancing, then try a socially distanced meal outside (if weather permits).
- Virtually participate in Thanksgiving festivities, such as watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade while together.
- Set some time aside to write thank-you letters to those they are thankful for, whether caregivers, family, or friends.
- Get involved in an arts and crafts event, which can be hosted virtually or in person.
- Share recipes amongst the family or on an online community. Then prepare this recipe. If preparing is not an option than there are excellent meal delivery services to help.
- Consider hiring some help for aid during Thanksgiving which will allow for everyone to enjoy each other’s company without added stresses.
- Simplify routines and modify traditions to reduce stress and accommodate needs.
- If a large gathering would be overwhelming, consider gathering in smaller groups.
- Continue the most important traditions.
- Offer to help running errands, picking up gifts, and mailing packages.
Think Ahead of Time to Ensure Stress-free Family Time
There are just a few ideas, but remember, if ill, be mindful not to expose your especially susceptible relatives. If special meals are needed then preparing them ahead of time can make a world of difference during the holiday. While there are endless ways to celebrate Thanksgiving with your seniors, remember to ask for help if it’s needed.
The most important thing is that seniors in your family feel loved and included by spending time with their family. No matter what you end up doing, these tips will ensure a more tranquil day for senior, caregiver, and family during this special time together.