Supporting Older Adults During the Holidays: Tip 2

Written by Camila Dos Santos, Program Coordinator of the Healthy Relationships Initiative & Heather Magill, Elder Justice Specialist Coordinator at the Guilford County Family Justice Center

As we approach the holidays, it seems like many are struggling with helping their loved ones feel connected, while also keeping them safe in light of the pandemic.  This year, especially, it’s important to get creative about how you’ll celebrate the holidays with the older adults in your life. 

In addition to making sure the older adults in your life can stay connected using technology, it’s important to find ways to make those connections meaningful throughout the holidays.  Starting new traditions, such as re-imagining family gatherings and what they look like, can help everyone feel included in the season even if they are not physically present.  

Rethinking how you gift the older adults in your life can also provide opportunities to make them feel special, especially if the pandemic is impacting their holiday travel.  This year, consider the idea of gift-giving as an experience. Sometimes, it can be much more meaningful to take a socially distant walk through the park, or to have a picnic with loved ones, rather than to give someone an item for the holidays. 

Another idea can be to make the act of gift-giving a fun activity, such as by having each child in the family create their own video for an older adult, or by encouraging playing online games together as a way to connect.

This article provides more useful tips for caregivers to plan ahead during this holiday season.