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Five ways to brighten the holidays for your senior loved one

Explore some of the best ways you can bring more holiday cheer to your senior loved one this year

The holiday season brings fun activities, traditions, and celebrations with family and friends, but the holidays may look a little different than they used to for your senior loved ones, which can bring about new challenges and feelings of loneliness. 

Continue reading to learn some ways you can brighten the holidays season for your senior loved ones.

#1: Spend quality time with them 

One of the best gifts you could give to your senior loved one this holiday season is quality time. 27% of adults 60 and older in the United States live alone, which can make the holidays feel especially isolating. 

It’s important that you make an effort to ensure your loved ones know you’re thinking of them during the holidays. If you’re planning a visit to their home, consider helping them decorate or bake their favorite holiday treat to make some extra special memories this year.

#2: Help them connect with friends and family 

Spending time with friends and family during the holiday season is important for everyone, but it can be difficult for some seniors to achieve on their own. If your senior is unable to drive or travel by themselves, offer to take your loved one to visit friends or family members that live closeby. 

However, many seniors live far from their family members or friends, and it may be difficult for them to travel. If your loved one is not able to visit with family and friends, help them set up video calls throughout the holiday season as the next best thing. 

Read more: 
10 fun & easy ways to keep your mind sharp as you age 

#3: Rekindle or create holiday traditions

Many seniors have fond memories of holiday traditions that they grew up doing with their families or that they created for their family. Travel, intensive decorating, and holiday parties may no longer be possible for your loved one, and this means they may miss out on some of their favorite holiday traditions.

While your loved one may not be able to do these exact traditions, consider modifying them in a way that makes them accessible to them. For example, if your senior’s favorite tradition was a holiday party, try to plan a small get together with family members or friends that live close by. However, instead of making your loved one feel like they need to host, consider making it a potluck party, so everyone contributes. 

Encourage your loved one to talk about their favorite holiday memories and traditions even if they are not able to do them. If your loved one has difficulty with memory, they may appreciate a familiar scent through a festive candle or taste of the holiday in a delicious baked good. 

#4: Plan activities with them

There are many simple activities you can plan with your loved one that can help make the holidays special like: 

  • Taking a short drive around the neighborhood to look at holiday lights. 
  • Baking holiday treats or doing simple crafts.
  • Having a movie night with their favorite holiday movies and treats.
  • Putting up some of their favorite holiday decorations with them — remember to help remove them at the end of the season.
  • Playing some of your loved one’s favorite card or board games. 

#5: Prepare for travel in advance, if necessary 

If your senior is willing and able to travel for the holidays, it’s best to prepare as soon as possible so that they can enjoy the journey. 

First, it’s a good idea to talk with their doctor about any health concerns and ensure they have sufficient medication for the duration of their trip. If necessary, ask how time zone changes may affect their medication schedule. 

Be sure to pack a couple days in advance, so that if you notice you’re missing a couple of things, you have time to purchase them without feeling rushed. 

Looking for a caregiver for you or a loved one?

At Flourish in Place, we provide home care options for all needs and budgets and specialize in helping families in Central Florida find the appropriate level of care for seniors and people with disabilities.

We offer a wide variety of specialized services including dementia care, cooking and serving nutritious meals, companionship and support, light housekeeping, and medication reminders.

To learn more, please request your Free Consultation today!


1: Pew Research Center | Older people are more likely to live alone in the U.S. than elsewhere in the world 

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