The holiday season of 2020 is going to be like none other. While there are lots of concerns by many people, one of the things that weighs heaviest on a caregiver’s heart has to do with the parents she is caretaking for. With the global pandemic caused by Covid-19 seeming to only get stronger and more deadly, many caretakers are going to have to look at new ways to let their aging parents that they’re in their hearts even if they can’t be in their homes.
As a caregiver, you may be actively involved in your parent’s life, already spending time in the home with your parent. Or, you may have already been doing most of the caretaking from a distance, such as running errands or dropping off meals at the doorstep. But the holidays make what has become “normal” in your life as a caretaker even more acute in the difficulties it can place on making someone know they are not forgotten about over the holidays.
So, while you may not be able to have all the grandkids go over the your parent’s home for the holidays and you probably won’t be bringing your aging parent to traditional indoor holiday celebrations such as a large family gathering, here are a few ways that might help your parent find joyful connections in the holiday season.
Flood your parent with cards.
Holidays are a great season to start a card avalanche. If your family celebrates Christmas, enlist family and friends to send a card every day during Advent so that your parent has something to look forward to while getting the mail. If walking to the mailbox is dangerous or reading cards is hard, ask your home care provider to read each card to your parent and make those needed trips out to the mailbox. Your home care provider can even help your parent write back; bringing back the days of pen pals might be a fun distraction for your parent.
Use technology to spend time “together.”
While it might not be as good as actually being in the same room together, the world of technology has been great with providing opportunities for us to see the faces and hear the voices of the ones we love no matter how far apart we are. Plan a time for your whole family to gather on a Zoom meeting and share stories from previous holidays. Or maybe have everyone show off their holiday baked goods. While technology can sometimes be a stumbling block for seniors, if you’re not able to help your parent with logging on and operating a device, your home care professional will be more than happy to set it up and then let your parent enjoy his “family time.”
Everyone loves a parade!
Who says parades just have to be during the summer? Have friends, family and neighbors get their vehicles all decorated in holiday attire and have someone turn on those Christmas carols as loud as can “legally” be and go drive down your parent’s street. Ask your home care provider to make sure your parent is up and ready to stand in the doorway and wave to all of the vehicles passing by. And if you know of any neighbors nearby that could also use the fun of a parade, make sure to invite them as well. You could even send out invites to the whole neighborhood.
No, this year will not be like any other. And yes, it’s going to have heartbreaks and you’re going to miss out on some long-standing traditions. These things may make both you and your parent sad. But, with a little planning and creativity, you might also create some unique one-of-kind memories that will be reminisced about for years and bring joy long after they’re over.
If you or an aging loved one is considering homecare in Concord, CA, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Walnut Creek. (925) 203-3039.