With Thanksgiving fast approaching and the holiday season in full swing after that, the Brookhouse Home is making lots of plans to make the holidays bright for our residents. During the coming weeks, our Activities Director Marsha DiCesare has some festive activities planned including holiday singing, a wine and cheese in-house social, ornament making, and holiday movies. We also decorate the entire house in a way that is fitting for this beautiful stately home. Although we comply entirely with state Covid-19 regulations, we still encourage and welcome family visits. With the idea of keeping spirits bright, we have compiled a list produced by the New England Chapter of the Aging Life Care Association – that may make your visit more festive at this time of year.
Ten Caregiving Tips at Holiday Time When Visiting the Elderly
1. Bring a few decorations for the room
Whether you decide to craft a few ornaments or select a few family keepsakes to hang on the tree, the time spent together is the true gift.
2. Look at photo albums together.
Looking at pictures is a great way to spend time with both the young and old. The stories shared are true treasures.
3. Play familiar board games.
Board games exercise the mind while entertaining. Today, there are many games that are designed especially for aging adults.
4. Bring photos or videos of your pet to show during the visit.
If you (or someone you know) have a calm, loving animal that is good with people, bring it for a visit. Pet therapy is being incorporated into many assisted living and nursing home communities across the world.
5. Enjoy her favorite music CD or TV program.
Studies show that playing familiar music has the capability to calm, soothe, and even trigger memories for many dementia patients. While it may not seem like a grand activity, companionship and shared time are what’s important. (https://musicandmemory.org/)
6. Make a holiday craft together.
Be sure to take into consideration the physical and mental capabilities of your loved one when selecting a craft activity. Pinterest is a great source for ideas.
7. Take a walk together.
Sometimes a little change of scenery is medicine for the soul. If weather permits, go outside and breathe in some fresh air and watch the clouds. Can’t go outside? Then take time to stroll around inside and talk about the pictures on the walls or about memories associated with specific rooms or furniture.
8. Plan on brief visits with children.
Seeing the holidays in through the eyes of children is magical. But in small spaces or during hectic days, sometimes children’s excitement can be overwhelming. Make sure to select a time of day when both children and grandma are at their best (ex. avoid meal and nap times). Depending on the age of the children, incorporate their visit with a craft activity or board game.
9. Turn a visit into a small celebration and bring a festive, holiday-themed snack to share.
10. Visit early in the day to avoid sundown syndrome.
“Sundowning” refers to a state of confusion at the end of the day and into the night. By respecting your loved one’s daily routine, you can help prevent triggering confusion or anxiety.