The holiday season can be a memorable time. Family and friends get together, feel loved, and build some cherished memories. The pandemic has dampened the holiday spirit and isolated seniors. However, there are many ways caregivers can rekindle the spirit of the season for the families and the seniors under their care.
For many seniors, their caregivers may be the only companions during holidays. The season gives the caregivers a good opportunity to bond with those under their care. The holiday season also gives caregivers opportunities to get closer to their clients’ families. They can get to know each other better and build trust. The family can see how well their loved ones are being cared for.
Holiday Activities for Caregivers and Their Clients
Throughout the holidays, there are many activities the caregivers can do with their clients. These will not only strengthen the bonds between the caregivers and the care recipients but also contribute towards the health, wellbeing and happiness of the caregivers’ clients and their families. Here are a few suggestions for the type of activities caregivers and their clients can enjoy together during this holiday season:
- Making holiday wreaths – Making wreaths, which are cornerstones of the holiday season, together can be a great way to bond with your client. You and your client can design and make these decorative hangings together.
- Filling stockings – If the client has grandchildren, then you can help them fill and hang stockings with little surprises for their families.
- Decorating the house – You can help decorate your client’s home according to their wishes. It will make any family visits joyous. Even if there are no visitors, decorating the home will make it cheerful and pleasant for your client.
- Storytelling – Reminiscing helps seniors feel valued, contented and peaceful by recalling happy times from their past. Your clients will always have some fun and exciting stories to tell from their pasts. While doing Christmas activities together you can prompt them to share some of these stories with you.
- Playing cards and board games – Playing cards or board games is fun, can enhance memory formation and help exercise cognitive skills. During the holidays try to encourage the seniors and their families to engage in friendly rivalries around a pack of cards or some fun board games.
- Singing together – Singing can lift your clients’ spirits, increase immunity and provide a workout for the lungs and brain. If your clients like music, the holidays are a great opportunity to play some of their favourite songs on the radio or a music player, and even better, encourage them to sing their favourites along with you and their family members.
- Cooking and Baking Together – The kitchen can get busy during this time of the year, but it can also be a good place for you to bond with your client and their family by baking or cooking everyone’s favourite dishes together. Perhaps your client has some favorite holidays recipes that they can teach you? It will help them feel appreciated and valued, and you will learn to cook or bake something new for them.
- Wrapping gifts and Writing Christmas – Wrapping gifts and writing Christmas and New Year Cards together can be a great way to help your client reminisce, feel valued and show care towards their families. You can buy the supplies and cards for your clients and ask them to wrap the gifts and write, address, and seal the envelopes themselves. If they have limited mobility you can let them guide you on pacing gifts and writing cards.
The holidays can be one of the best times for the caregivers to strengthen the bond and trust with their clients and the clients’ families. There are several activities that the caregivers can do with their clients to lift their spirits, help them feel valued and appreciated and increase their happiness.