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How to Reduce Holiday Stress for Seniors

By Jessica Deng

The holiday season is here and while it may be a wonderful time for many people – bringing together family and friends for one of the biggest celebrations of the year, it can also be one of the most stressful times of the year for many people – including seniors. Some seniors may be struggling with social situations due to poor health, bereavement, or the challenges of visiting loved ones who live far away.Additionally, the stress associated with holiday preparations, such as shopping, cooking, and social obligations, can be overwhelming for some seniors, impacting their enjoyment of the season. Here are some tips to help seniors reduce their stress and avoid the holiday blues:

  • Be realistic
    • Too often, we have higher expectations for the holiday season than any other time of the year. People can feel frustrated or stressed out when plans don’t go accordingly. Traditions and rituals can change over the years. Try not to put pressure on yourself hoping the holidays will be perfect.
  • Keep traveling to a minimum
    • Some seniors may be putting off the idea of traveling long-distance to spend the holidays with their families. If your senior has given up driving, they may feel like a burden asking for a ride and therefore, they may stop making plans to go out and do things. Instead of letting your senior loved one stay home, invite them over and arrange transportation. This means your senior can still attend events and feel less stressed about traveling and going out.
  • Celebrate in a safe and familiar environment
    • Seniors are at a higher risk of falling and becoming seriously injured during the holiday rush. It’s important to make sure to fall-proof the location where you will be hosting a celebration with your loved one.
  • Plan meals
    • Many seniors have restrictive diets prescribed by their healthcare providers to maintain good health. It can be a bit difficult to adhere to a diet during busy, stressful times, especially if there aren’t any healthy options available. Discuss with your loved one’s home care provider about what they can eat will be beneficial. You can then prepare a small menu for your loved one to eat which will take stress away from them and ensure they are eating with everyone else. 
  • Avoid financial pressures
    • The holidays can be an unnerving time not just physically or mentally, but on our wallets too. Many seniors are keen to express their love and admiration for younger relatives through gifts and other treats during the holiday season. This can be stressful for a senior on a limited or set income budget and can even put more strain on the season than needed. Make sure that they know there is not pressure for them to spend lots of money on gifts and other material items that might lead to even more holiday stress at this difficult time of the year.
  • Consult with your loved one and their plans
    • If you are planning to invite seniors to your holiday celebrations, consider consulting with them beforehand to understand their requirements. It’s best to gain an understanding of how to reduce holiday stress for the senior people in your family, consulting them could also help them feel more included and invested in the holiday season.

If your loved one needs more support this holiday season than you can manage, LifeWorx is here to help. Our companion care providers offer a wide range of services to help during the holidays, including:

  • Companionship
  • Meal preparation and cooking
  • Take your loved one out to enjoy holiday festivities
  • Assistance with holiday shopping or decorating
  • Help with mobility

Give your loved one the gift of a compassionate and nurturing LifeWorx caregiver. A LifeWorx caregiver can help your loved one and you enjoy time together this holiday season and beyond.

Explore LifeWorx’ in-home elder care services.