Generally, parents and grandparents are part of our holiday celebrations and while you may have developed some beautiful traditions that include them, as parents get older, adult children have to take a step back on occasion and decide whether certain rituals need to be altered. This does not mean that including aging parents in festivities has to be cut, but perhaps particular practices should change.
For instance, if the custom is to have celebrations at a place where it means that elderly parents have to drive, consider making the time earlier so they don’t have to drive after dark. Or arrange for someone to pick them up and return them home. Sometimes aging drivers are relieved to have a ride and not have to worry about getting to and from the celebration they don’t want to miss.
At times, when we age, change in diet or medications may become necessary. Be aware of any special needs your aging family member might have in this regard and be sure to take it into consideration. For instance, having a sugar-free dessert as an option might be a good idea. Keep track of when certain medications need to be taken in case the festivities get in the way and remember to pack their medications if they are coming to stay for an extended period of time.
Shopping for the holidays may have been one of Mom’s greatest joys, but it isn’t as easy to get around anymore. Or perhaps, if Dad’s spouse is no longer able, he may be faced with the daunting task of purchasing holiday gifts. Know enough about your parent’s finances to help them shop appropriately. Perhaps schedule a short trip to a local mall with them. Or offer to shop online with them by your side so they can feel a part of making selections. Help them compile a list of various people that they like to give a holiday gift to each year and help them complete this list.
We should all take a little extra time to consider our aging parents’ needs at this very special time of the year. And from all of us at Elder Care Mediations, we wish you wonderful holiday season.