Senior age can be the golden age of a person’s life if good health is preserved and nurtured and if they are surrounded by loving, caring family or friends. Aging is an inevitable process in our lives, a natural stage of transformations and coming to peace with our body’s increasingly limited abilities. As parents grow old, each person wants to provide them the best life in their old age and give back the love and caring they received all their life.
When going on holiday, it is blissful to spend time with your senior parents or grandparents and nothing should stop you from enjoying some quality time together, but it’s important to take some precautions and understand a senior citizen’s needs.If you are asking yourself what could you do to help your loved ones enjoy the holidays while respecting the needs of senior age here are some tips you might find helpful:
Encourage light physical activity
It is important to find some time for exercise and recreation. This is the only way to maintain flexibility, mobility and muscle in senior age. Invite your parents or grandparents to take a walk around the house or play some relaxing games. It is also a great way to release the stress. Be sure to avoid snow or ice covered sidewalks and do not get into activities that are too intense for them.
Mental activities help you bond and stay sharp
Lifelong learning and acquiring new skills and knowledge is essential. Preserving mental activity can be done by simple activities such as reading, solving crossword puzzles, playing intellectual games like Chess etc. You can bond with your loved ones and share stories while enjoying mind challenging games.
Always serve healthy food alternatives
During the holidays, family meals can often be very rich and hard to digest. Proper nutrition includes regular intake of vegetables and fruits, fish, white meat without skin. If you are preparing a holiday meal and senior citizens are joining it, make sure to provide healthy servings, like soup or light side dishes. Ask about any dietary restrictions and avoid adding salt when cooking – it’s better to ask everyone else to add salt according to their taste or the doctor’s recommendations.
Help your loved ones keep healthy habits
Smoking, drinking alcohol, black coffee or consuming any other addictive substances shouldn’t be an option. These kinds of addictions can be extremely harmful, causing heart and blood vessels disease. Consider offering alcohol free beverages so everyone can enjoy the celebrations.
Respect resting time
It is important to spread optimism and good will to all the people that surround you, your family, friends and other seniors. You can be tempted to organize a lot of activities and cherish your time with your grandparents or parents, but keep in mind that they need rest. If you are the host, make sure they have a quiet, comfortable place where they can retreat and recover from the agitated celebration.
Make your home accessible
Try to put yourself into senior citizens shoes and make sure there is nothing in your house that may endanger their health or well-being. As mentioned before, make sure you have a quiet and comfortable space for senior citizens to get their rest and take breaks after intense or agitating activities. Eliminate all possible hazards, like slippery rugs or stairs, dark hallways or tight spaces to cross.
And finally – do not accept prejudice and ignorance about aging and senior age as illness, helplessness and dependence on others. Respect the wisdom that they have gained throughout the years and make time to talk to them, listen to their stories and bring them joy in their old age. It is the best way to keep their spirits young and express gratitude for all their efforts!
Throughout the holiday season, keep in mind the weather. It’s cold and wet outside, so you should advice your parents to dress accordingly. Recommend them to use a walker when heading out for more support, and make sure they have proper shoes and clothing to stay warm. Last but not least, make time for them. Go shopping together and give them a sense of freedom even though you are there to help out.