Holiday Activities & Home Care

Imagine your house full of people you love, endearing conversations being had between family members, loved ones yelling at the T.V. for sports games, children chasing each other from room to room developing life long friendships with their cousins. Sounds amazing right?

Now imagine you are a Senior, hard of hearing, trying to remember who these people are, attempting to remember “Why am I here again?”, “What are we celebrating?”. A family member asks you a question, and a well meaning daughter or spouse answers for you, robbing you of the opportunity for a social connection. The emotion is much different, right?

Holidays are a joyous occasion but can also be overwhelming for someone with Dementia or even someone who is hard of hearing. Here are some suggestions to help create a welcoming atmosphere:

  1. Have a photo album labeled with names, and reminisce with them multiple times a day with different family members who can offer different perspectives of the same story
  2. Incorporate your Senior in activities such as cooking. Have them sit at a table, and mix apples for the apple pie, or fold the napkin linens for the table.
  3. Have a room designated as a “quiet room”, where one-on-one conversations can be had without environmental distractions. This room is not meant to isolate a Senior, but to increase the social connection that is vital for their quality of life.
  4. Have a schedule ready to show them the events of the day so they are aware of what is next (this also helps you in organizing your day!)

We often see loved ones do everything for their Senior, thinking they are doing best for them, but often times we are handicapping them. Taking away what they still can do for themselves, and creating dependency. Seniors, even those with Dementia, can still contribute to daily activities, but just with some modified adjustments.

by: Francesca Alonso, M.S. CCC-SLP, Geriatric Speech Language Pathologist, Administrator of PSFS Homecare