How to Care for Your Senior Clients During the Holiday Season

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As the holiday season rolls around, COVID-19 is likely keeping senior clients and their families apart. Here are some of the ways you can brighten their holiday experience.

Like it the old fashioned way?

With the holiday season right around the corner, celebrations may look a little different this year because of COVID-19 – but that doesn’t mean that all festivities have to be put on hold. There are plenty of things you can do to help your senior clients stay safe while still being able to carry on the traditions.

Here are some of the things you can do to make the holiday season a little brighter for your seniors.

Get in the holiday spirit

The holiday season is a time of year when you can go back to being a kid again. You get to decorate, wear cozy pajamas, binge watch festive movies, and eat an endless amount of baked goods and holiday grub.

This part of the holidays is absolutely non-negotiable. There’s just something magical about getting in the holiday spirit and being filled with the joy that comes from it.

Your senior clients likely won’t be able to do all this themselves, and anyway, it’s better to have others to share the experience with. Here are some of the things your caregivers can do to help your clients get in the holiday spirit:

  • Help put up decorations around the house

  • Watch a holiday movie or play some music

  • Cook or bake foods based on holiday traditions

  • Go for a drive to see how others have decorated

Help them communicate with their family and friends virtually

There’s a lot to be thankful for this time of year – especially loved ones. Although it might not be reasonable to spend time with each other in-person, there are still many things you can do to help your senior clients feel as though they aren’t missing out on all the fun.

Thanks to all the virtual forms of communication that have been especially popular this year, there are many opportunities for your senior clients to communicate with family and friends face-to-face.

Whether using Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, or another form of virtual communication, seniors can join in on family holiday parties or even just catch up one-on-one.

There’s nothing less lonely than spending a holiday by yourself. It’s important that you’re keeping them company and helping them to stay in touch with others at the same time.

Share a thoughtful gift

Everyone likes to receive thoughtful gifts. In fact, it’s even one of the five love languages.

While it doesn’t have to be anything big, sharing small gifts with your clients is a very genuine way to form a stronger bond, and overall, it’s just nice to receive when clients otherwise might not be getting any.

It doesn’t have to be anything extensive to show that you care. Here are a few ideas, but feel free to come up with your own. When you have a personal bond with someone, you know them best and what would make them the happiest. You can even make something by hand – those gifts always go over well.

  • Baked goods like cookies, cakes, breads, etc.

  • A sentimental note

  • Candle or holiday themed blanket

  • Decorations for the home

  • Plants, flowers, or other greenery

Keep up with their holiday traditions

Everyone has holiday traditions they grew up with – whether starting as a kid or even as they were raising their own families.

Having familiarity during the holidays provides comfort and support especially at a time when many clients feel lonely and isolate.

Figure out what your clients have done in the past and help them continue to maintain those traditions.  This might mean breaking the turkey wishbone on Thanksgiving or simply decorating the Christmas tree with ornaments and tinsel. Either way, they’ll be grateful for your support and won’t feel much as changed since the previous year.

Staying safe during the holidays

During the winter months, COVID-19 rates will only continue to climb, and with the general cold and flu going around also, it’s important for home care agencies to follow safety protocols to ensure that both, clients and caregivers stay safe during the holidays.

To help make this a little easier, we’ve created two free COVID-19 training programs:
  • Free coronavirus training for caregivers: includes content for caregivers and instructors, provides all the must-know details about COVID-19, and explains how to best implement infection control methodologies. Includes content for 1 hour of CE credit.

  • COVID-19 Operating Protocols – training for agency managers on how to keep employees/clients safe while avoiding safety-related lawsuits. Compiled by the legal experts at Littler in coordination with our clinicians at In the Know.

What are you doing to care for your clients this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!

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