Celebrating religious and cultural holidays during the course of your home care journey with your aging parent is a wonderful way to keep your family connected and support your loved one’s mental and emotional health. Passover begins April 22 and as this event approaches, finding meaningful ways to keep your parent involved can make the celebration even more special. It is important to remember that most elderly adults have strong memories of their own celebrations of the holidays from when they were younger. It is these memories that they think of as the holiday approaches. The thought that they will no longer be able to participate in the ways that they once did because of their challenges and limitations can cause a senior to experience depression, anxiety, and loss of motivation. Ensuring that your loved one stays a central element of your Passover observance can protect her emotional health and make the experience more precious for the entire family.
Some of the ways that you can make Passover particularly meaningful in your home care journey include:
- Talk about memories. As the holiday approaches, talk to your aging parent about her memories of Passover from when she was younger. Ask her to tell you about what she remembers doing with her family and any special experiences that they had together around this time of the year. Not only will this help to strengthen her memory skills, but it can also give you ideas for things to integrate into your celebration this year.
- Prepare favorite dishes. As with most other holidays, there are many traditional dishes associated with Passover. Preparing these dishes together can be a wonderful experiences that not only helps your parent to feel more involved in the holiday, but also lets her pass along a legacy to future generations. If she has dietary restrictions due to medical conditions, work together to come up with ways to modify these favorite dishes to fit the restrictions.
- Encourage her to lead. Simply because she is not able to be as actively involved in the holiday preparations as she once was does not mean that your aging parent cannot still play an important role. Encourage her to lead the Seder ritual or at least be an active participant in the traditions. Whether it is arranging the table, asking the questions, or offering the prayer, any involvement she has will be meaningful.
- Have her teach the children. Teaching children about tradition is an important part of any cultural or religious event. Ask that your parent do something special with the children of the family to teach them about this holiday. She can read them age appropriate books, do crafts and activities, or tell the story in her own way and get the children involved in a skit or other fun experience. This will help your parent feel that she is fulfilling her responsibility to teach the young members of the family and create memories that she and your children will treasure.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Tempe, AZ, contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands Home Care at (480) 725-7002.
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