The Holidays can be a very special time of year for you and your family. This time of year is a time for family, food, and special traditions. However, it can also be a very lonely part of the year if your aging loved ones are not included in those yearly traditions. Here are a few ways to include your loved ones over the holidays.
Talk to them. Often times we get so caught up with seeing different family members that we haven’t seen for a few months that we unintentionally ignore our aging loved ones. Make sure they are a part of the conversation. If they are hard of hearing, be sure to position them within hearing and talking distance of the main conversation. Ask them questions about when they were a child and what their parents’ traditions were. Your loved ones have a lot to say, but sometimes it gets drowned out if they have to yell or on the other end, strain to hear what everyone is talking about.
Connect with them. Find out what they love to do and make sure the include them. If your mom or grandma was the best baker in the county, then make sure she is in the kitchen with the rest of the bakers. Chances are she has a few tricks she can teach them! If your dad or grandpa was in the military and is open to talking about, then let them tell stories. They have stories to tell that are far more interesting than anything anyone is posting on Facebook.
Assign them a task. If your loved one is still able to help with holiday meals or decorate cookies or simply hold one of the babies, then let them. Being a part of the family, no matter how small the task, is an important piece to feeling included and loved.
Visit them. If your loved one is unable to be with the rest of your family over the holiday season, then go to them. Bring them their favorite cookies or Christmas treats and let them know they are still deeply cared for and loved. Spruce up their room or living quarters with a small Christmas tree and some familiar holiday décor. Make their holiday season just as special as you can.
Remember, the holidays are all about family and that means the entire family from the youngest to the oldest. Include your loved ones in conversations, baking, decorating and simply being together.