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Tips for a Safe Holiday Celebration
The holiday season is upon us, which means that family gatherings and parties with friends are being planned to celebrate this joyous time of year. With a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases nationwide, families have to make the tough decisions about the safest way to keep their senior loved ones safe, even if that means avoiding get-togethers with those not in the same household.
Regardless, the holidays are going to take some additional planning and communication. For loved ones you aren't able to see in person, you should actively plan on ways to connect with them frequently to keep them - and you - feeling positive and uplifted during the holidays. Depression and feelings of social Isolation are already so common this time of year and will be exacerbated in 2020. Getting in the holiday spirit is important for our physical and mental wellbeing
For in-person gatherings, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has provided recommendations to consider before you make any in-person commitments.
According to CDC guidelines, you shouldn’t participate in in-person celebrations if you or anyone in your household:
- Has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not met the criteria for when it is safe to be around others
- Has symptoms of COVID-19
- Is waiting for COVID-19 viral test results
- May have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- Is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. This includes our senior loved ones
Finding moments of joy and positivity every day gives us both connection and purpose in the midst of dealing with difficult times and conditions. Research conducted by Comfort Keepers found that that almost half (48%) of seniors surveyed say that family time is what they miss the most due to COVID. Think about ways to create that family time experience through frequent contact even if you can't celebrate together in person.
If in-person family gatherings are in your plans this holiday season, please keep in mind that many transmissions of the virus happen most often at extended family gatherings. While we, like you, would prefer family time to include hugs, sitting close at the dinner table and even holding hands, we should all be practicing safe distance protocols.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers these reminders if you are hosting an in-person family event:
- Weather permitting, outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities
- Keep the invite list small and provide plenty of space
- Requests that all guests arrive with and wear masks, provide hand sanitizer, and have easy access to tissues
- If you are gathering includes people outside of your household, consider strictly avoiding contact with people outside of your household for 14-days before the gathering
- Wash your hands frequently during the gathering, especially around meals
It’s a good idea to share these considerations with family in advance, so that everyone feels a part of the decision and can prepare for a safe and fun gathering.
Creating memories and sharing moments with the people we love help make the holiday season so special. Think about adjustments you can make so you can still celebrate the holidays in meaningful ways help keep everyone safe and healthy while bringing much needed joy to the ones we love. Here’s to safely making and sharing memories this holiday season!