While the holiday season is often a time of fun and time to enjoy some precious time with friends and family, it is also important that the needs of older people are taken into account during this season.
For some elderly people, a holiday away from home can be confusing and stressful. If they live alone due to the loss of their partner, an older person may find holidays emotional and distressing. If an older relation has health issues, then this can also affect their ability to enjoy a holiday.
To help them be more settled on holiday, it can be useful to plan ahead. Long walks may not be appropriate for a grandparent with mobility issues. Think about introducing a number of stops on a trip for comfort breaks and remember that older people tire more easily. Try not to get them doing too much. Ask them if they are okay, and give them some time to themselves so that they are not over-stimulated.
Think about where you may be taking your older family members on holiday. If they grew up in the country and they now live in the town, perhaps a trip to the country will evoke some memories in them to share with the rest of the family. As we get older, we tend to forget things that happened recently, but we often remember things that happened when we were younger. Spending time with the family can encourage these old memories while creating new ones.
If you are taking an older relative to a different house, you may want to take a couple of things that help them adjust to their new surroundings. A familiar picture or blanket may be useful. Think about slippery floors or loose rugs, especially if your relative has concerns about falling or slipping. Cushions or other aids may be required to help them get up off a seat or chair. Think about what you can do to allow your elderly family member the ability to maintain his or her own independence.
Take time to consider the needs of an elderly loved one, and be sure to ask them about their needs, too, to make the holiday enjoyable for everyone.