If you are looking for the best gift you can give your parent this holiday season, as well as the best gift you can give yourself, consider the gift of togetherness. Senior caregivers note that togetherness means more than just spending an hour visiting your mom or dad, or taking your parent to the doctor, or running their errands. It’s about the gift of time, which has no boundaries. Below are some ideas to enable you and your parent to spend quality time together during this holiday season:
- Baking and Cooking: Is your mother a baker? Spend the day baking with mom (or your mother-in-law) or a group of senior ladies. Each one should select an individual cookie recipe and work together to make batches of cookies. The cookies may be packaged up and sent to troops overseas, or used for the family holiday. Senior caregivers note that men like to bake and cook too, so don’t exclude them!
- Maker Works: Wood carving projects, metalwork and other hands-on activities can be great activities for senior men. Your father can help teach the younger family members these skills and pass them along to the next generation. This is another bonding experience that helps create holiday memories that last forever.
- Photography: Photography is easy for anyone today with a digital phone. Spending time with your mom or dad may include scanning through their old photos or using your digital phone to create a memory book for them. Senior caregivers appreciate this activity as it can help sharpen your parent’s brain and engage him or her in an activity with you and your children.
- Adopt A Senior: Senior caregivers remind families that during this time of year, those with families in tact are blessed to be available for one another. Some families are removed by distance or other circumstances. Adopting a senior citizen during this holiday season could add a new element to your own family while brightening the season for another elder; no one should be alone during the holidays.
Don’t be afraid to include your parent if they have chronic illnesses including dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Prepare your family and your guests. They should be aware and accepting, as mom or dad is family. Your parent will not be alone; senior caregivers will support your parent support as well as you. Mom or dad is still part of the fabric of the family and despite some differences, they are special and deserve to be included in your holiday plans.