As the holiday season is fast approaching, it is likely that you are beginning to make plans with friends and family. Your plans for this year may look a little different. You are not alone in these considerations, and this article is going to explore some potential options for getting together with families, but keeping your holiday season special and meaningful.
Celebrating The Holidays During COVID-19
- Give yourself permission to do only what you can reasonably and safely manage. No one should expect you to maintain every holiday tradition or event, especially during a pandemic.
- The stress of the holiday season (especially in a year that could have been financially strained) combined with the stress of caregiving for someone with dementia can really affect a person. This year, it is especially important to keep in mind your own health and safety. You need to make your own mental and physical health a priority while planning to carry out your holiday traditions and caring for someone else.
- Set up a time to Zoom with, FaceTime or call other family members. You could even start an email chain. Make sure everyone is on the same page and is understanding of the situation your family is facing.
Staying A Safe Distance While Celebrating
There are many ways to celebrate the holidays from a distance. Again, while it may not like look a “normal”, there are many memories that can be made.
- Create and send holiday cards.
- Plan an outdoor visit with hot chocolate and blankets.
- Schedule your own “holiday parade” and ask family members and friends to drive by the older adult’s home with homemade signs or other festive decorations.
- Continue holiday traditions by dropping off favorite baked goods or a care package in a way that avoids close contact.
- Go outside for a walk in the neighborhood or consider driving near home to enjoy holiday lights and decorations.
Technologies To Celebrate Holidays Safely With Covid-19
- Record and send a “video holiday card” that includes personalized messages.
- Use video call software like Zoom or Skype to gather virtually. Plan a video call to cook or bake a special recipe together.
- If your loved one struggles with technology, ask a primary caregiver if they can help facilitate a video call.
Holidays can be meaningful, enriching times for both the person with dementia and his or her family. Maintaining or adapting family rituals and traditions helps all family members feel a sense of belonging and family identity. There are many ways that this holiday season can be adapted to be safe and fun. The faculty and staff at Orchard at Athens are committed to helping you and your family keep as many traditions as possible. We are happy to support in any way. Please contact us if you have questions about how we can support