How to Help Senior Citizens with Holiday Stress in Houston
The holidays have arrived and while they are often very exciting and full of joy, it’s important to be mindful of just how stressful they can be for the senior citizens in our lives.
With family members coming and going, kiddos running around and making all kinds of noise, coming to and from errands and shopping– the holidays can get pretty overwhelming.
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that can help reduce stress and make the holiday season more enjoyable for everyone.
Christian Companions Houston has created this list of things to keep in mind to ensure that the senior citizen in your life enjoys the holidays as best as they can.
Set Realistic Expectations
First, it’s important to set realistic expectations for activities and outings. While the holidays are a time for celebration, they can also be overwhelming to senior citizens who are used to a certain level of attention and routine.
Before making plans, be sure to check in with your loved one and explain what the day is going to look like. Have an honest conversation about the length of time each activity is going to take. Moreover, when estimating the time for activities or traveling, err on the side of caution and assume things are going to take longer than we plan.
If things are starting to get a little too hectic throughout the day, it's best to prioritize the activities that are most important and enjoyable and let the rest go. Don’t get too hung up on doing all of the things all of the time.
Plan Ahead, And Sideways
Second, it’s important to plan ahead for any issues that could potentially arise.
Set alarms across multiple devices for things like medication reminders, as well as bathroom and rest breaks. It’s also important to keep meal times in line with any potential medication requirements. If a particular medicine should be taken with food, be sure to bring some snacks in the event that a full meal is too far off.
As mentioned earlier, it's crucial not to get too hung up on accomplishing all the activities. A better course of action is to make a plan of potential activities and go through them depending on everyone’s mood and energy levels.
A senior citizen that may say they are up for the adventure in the morning, may simply not have the energy or ability to stay out and about all day or for multiple days in a row. Be sure to plan some activities that don’t require too much energy or even leaving the house.
Can You Lend a Hand?
The next tip is to not be so afraid to ask for help. Many people are often more than willing to lend a hand, especially during the holidays.
Reach out to family members, friends, or neighbors who may be able to assist with tasks such as shopping, cooking, or decorating. It is the holidays after all! Find someone to invite into your family and have them share in the joy.
Tis The Season, To Be Jolly
Finally, remember to stay positive. The holidays can be stressful, but try to focus on the positive aspects of the season. If you find yourself becoming too stressed because of errands, family, or your caregiving role, take some time to zoom out and slow things down when necessary.
Find some time and space to practice your own self-care. Draw yourself a hot bath, take a nap, or maybe just go for your own walk around the neighborhood. All of these are great ways to revitalize yourself after days of keeping the holiday ship on course.