Most seniors love to get together with family and friends over the holidays because they enjoy celebrating the season at parties and they enjoy taking advantage of these times to catch up on the news with their loved ones. However, while these parties may once have been easy and required no extra thoughts, older adults may quickly discover that Christmas celebrations with family and friends now require additional planning and special considerations.
- Adjust schedules to allow for extra time
Seniors need to include additional time for getting ready for parties, for driving to parties and for navigating sidewalks and unfamiliar buildings particularly in the darkness of evening. Seniors often move more slowly than younger adults do and should not rush for fear of falling.
- Consider dietary changes
Seniors should be aware of their dietary restrictions when they are eating away from home. They should particularly be aware of high-fat or high-sodium party foods as well as of the alcohol content in many party beverages. Seniors who have diabetes should not eat sugary desserts and should instead opt for fresh fruits when available.
- Consider mobility changes
Seniors will need to consider where the party is being hosted to determine if they will be able to navigate stairs or tight spaces. Seniors should consider sitting in chairs with arms to aid them in rising and should beware of throw rugs or cords that are lying on the floor.
- Include times to de-stress
Seniors, particularly those with dementia, may need time for quietness away from the noise of the party.
- Remember medications
Sometimes, when schedules change due to holiday parties, seniors may forget their important medications. They may need to set alarms on their phones or ask their loved ones to help them remember their medications.
- Find someone who can help navigate the party
At family parties, seniors might be able to find a younger family member, such as a grandchild, to help them navigate the food tables, get them something to drink and find them a place to sit.