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How to Help Seniors Safely this Holiday Season
Do your annual holiday traditions include giving your time and talent to help seniors in your family or community? Even though this holiday season is different from years past, there are still plenty of ways you can make sure people get the support they need to take care of their seasonal tasks and experience more joy. All while keeping them and yourself safe.
Here are some ideas for uplifting activities you can do for seniors outside your household and with a senior loved one who lives with you at home.
For Seniors Outside Your Household:
Outdoor Holiday Decorating
Due to health limitations or simply out of precaution, many seniors aren’t able to safely put up their outdoor holiday decorations by themselves. You can offer to help. Because you’re outside, this activity doesn’t put yourself or the senior you’re assisting at any elevated risk of infection. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving—your kindness will be on display all season to bring joy and cheer every time they look out the window.
Wrap & Deliver Gifts
Gift giving is a tradition that a number of seniors enjoy. But since many extended family gatherings will be cancelled or go virtual this year, they won’t have the opportunity to give gifts to their family and friends in person. You can help by offering to pick up unwrapped gifts (a physically distanced front-porch transaction works really well) and wrap them, capping it all off by delivering the packages around town on the senior’s behalf. If you want to jazz up the jolly factor, feel free to sport a Santa hat on delivery day!
For Seniors Inside Your Household:
Ordering gifts online is one of the safest ways for seniors (and everyone) to do their holiday shopping this year. If you’re lucky enough to live with an older loved one, offer to sit down with them and navigate all the online shopping options to find the right gifts for everyone on their list. If other family members live with you, maybe have them take a turn when it comes time to pick out your gifts … you don’t want to ruin the surprise!
Joy it Up
Celebrating the holidays in the shadow of the pandemic can be challenging. This is especially for seniors who don’t get to see extended family members as often as they’d like throughout the year and look forward to seeing everybody over the holidays. To help them keep their spirits high, make it a point to find ways to stay positive. Go online together and connect virtually with family and friends. Watch holiday movies together and share stories of holidays past. Be sure to add what you’re looking forward to next year, too! If you’re able, hop in the car and go for a joyride to look at holiday lights and decorations.
Just because this holiday season is different, doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference in the lives of seniors in your family and community!