There are several tips families can utilize to modify holiday celebrations and accommodate older adults. Kathy Segrist, interim director of the Fischer Institute for Wellness and Gerontology at Ball State University, located in Muncie, Ind, explains,“As some people grow older, they may lose the physical abilities necessary to trim a tree, bake a cake, or spend time outdoors singing carols.” Segrist adds that in other cases, individuals may find themselves spending the holiday season in an assisted living or nursing home. 

Segrist emphasizes that making the appropriate modifications for older adults and facilitating their participation, allows the holidays to be enjoyable for everyone. Segrist recommends that families invite older family members to as many events as possible but ensuring that the event matches the level of their physical and cognitive abilities. Asking for seniors’ input when planning activities and catering to their physical and nutritional needs when planning dinners is also key, Segrist says.

Additionally, Sergist spotlights the reinforcement of communication to keep older adults connected to loved ones. She recommends encouraging seniors to use email, instant messaging, and social media, such as Skype, Facebook, and Twitter. “Technology makes communication easier and cheaper…The rewards need to be communicated when encouraging particpation,” She adds.

Source: Ball State University