• Everyone faces pitfalls during the holidays, but getting off track can set older adults back in their recovery from an illness or put them at risk for new health problems. Too much of a good thing is not so good.
  • Some conditions of aging, such as dementia, can cause agitation in older adults. Tune into the amount of activity that surrounds a senior during the holidays and adapt as necessary.
  • Families often function best when they are following traditional roles at the holidays, but that isn’t always realistic. If your senior has suffered a health decline, she may not be up to that family get-together. Try to get family members on board to set realistic expectations.
  • Hearing impairment can make it difficult for older adults to understand conversations. If you’re hosting a holiday party, take Grandpa into a quiet room and ask family to visit him individually so that he can get the most from conversations.
  • Many older adults are diabetic or living with restricted food plans. Sugar is a big holiday food culprit, so try always to offer healthy alternatives such as plenty of vegetables and sugar-free desserts.
  • Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia could react negatively to the presence of too many people. Take care not to turn a positive holiday party into a negative event for the older loved one in the family by subjecting your senior to too many visitors.
  • Becoming overwhelmed during the holidays isn’t good for anyone, least of all seniors. Respite caregiving from a friend or professional caregiver can help a senior feel more secure.
  • While most seniors enjoy reminiscing and discussing the old days, be careful what memories you share. If there’s been a recent death in the family, the emotional wounds may be too fresh.

For more information, contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office at 541-734-2700