5 Tips to Remember During Holiday Gatherings
The holiday season is one of the most wonderful times of the year for some people. The lights, decorations, and parties are all exciting features that bring cheer to the season. However, for others it can be a difficult time as well. Those who have elderly relatives may find themselves stressed out about making sure everyone is taken care of during this busy time. It’s important to remember some tips on how to ensure your loved ones have a happy and safe holiday gathering.
Maintain Healthy Habits
It’s important to maintain healthy habits throughout the holiday season, including washing hands regularly, wearing masks, or maintaining social distancing. All of these are ways to minimize the spread of illness during this time when people are in close contact with one another.
Another important aspect of healthy habits includes having a clean environment to welcome your relatives into. According to the CDC, “Cleaning with a household cleaner that contains soap or detergent reduces the amount of germs on surfaces and decreases risk of infection from surfaces.” Hiring a cleaning service prior to the gathering would ensure a deep cleaning of your home.
It is important to make sure there aren’t any hazards in the environment your holiday is being celebrated in. This includes dangerous things like stairs and knives, as well as other hazards like pets or loud noises.
Create a calm and inviting atmosphere to ensure your relatives are not overwhelmed and remain comfortable.
“Be aware of medications that may need to be taken so that dosage timing is accurate.” If you are a caregiver or have taken medication yourself, you understand the importance of following the different instructions such as “take with food” or “do not mix with…”.
Double check any questions that you might have with the caregiver or Home Health nurse to ensure there are no misunderstandings during the celebrations.
Food Allergies & Needs
While this is the time for feasts of bounty and cornucopias, there are many with dietary needs that need to remain constant. If you have family members or friends that fall into this category, be aware and keep their meals simple.
Food allergies can be just as important as dietary restraints and it is extremely important to have this information with you. According to the FDA “a growing number of consumers are living with food allergies”. It is also important to remember that these allergies can be deadly and precautions must be taken such as proper hand washing or having necessary precautions such as an EpiPen.
This holiday season is what you make it. If you are having dishes prepared by others, it is important to be aware of the ingredients so that everyone remains safe. If the meal must remain simple due to dietary restrictions or allergies, make it about those that are with you and the memories made together.
Check-in with Others
It can sometimes feel overwhelming checking in with others during this time, but it’s important to maintain communication to ensure your loved ones are comfortable and enjoying their holiday season. According to AARP “While dementia sufferers may talk less about what’s going on in their minds, it’s not a sign that they’re unaware of what’s going on around them.” Checking in with others can make holiday gatherings much easier. Ask family members how the events are going and share stories as well.
These key factors will help make your holiday gathering smooth and successful. If you have additional questions, please remember to communicate with your relative’s caregiver or health care provider. With these helpful hints in mind, you should be able to enjoy time spent with family this year! Happy Holidays!