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Planning elderly care for Christmas
Planning elderly care for Christmas can be challenging.
Despite the potential for spending quality time with family, you might well be rushed off your feet, based away from home or restricted by weather conditions.
Here, we'll introduce you to some of the ways you can ensure your loved one receives the care and attention he or she needs throughout the Christmas period.
What should I think about when planning elderly care for Christmas?
When planning elderly care for Christmas, you should consider the following two scenarios:
1. Family or communal events
Christmas should be a time to get together and make memories with your loved ones.
These are some of the things you should consider ahead of time to make their Christmas experience as rewarding as possible:
Think of some small, simple tasks and activities you can arrange to ensure your loved one feels included, such as:
- Making decorations with the grandchildren
- Telling stories or singing classic songs
- Playing simple board, card or parlour games
- Preparing fruit or veg for the Christmas meal
A good tip is to set aside a spot they can retire to if they feel they'd like some quiet time away from the main group.
Both driving and public transport pose risks for older people during winter. And, with a full to-do list, it can be tricky to find time for a family member to pick them up.
In this situation, you can get help from a voluntary agency, such as:
Try to ensure your loved one has the option to travel to and from your event at their preferred time, regardless of weather conditions.
2. Cover if you go away
You might also wish to travel to visit friends or relatives during this time, in which case you'll want to feel confident your loved one's needs are being met.
These are some of the ways you can support your loved one if you're planning a trip away:
Preparing the home:
Help them prepare their home for winter conditions before you leave:
- Stock up on food/medication
- Write down key contact details (family members, emergency services, doctors etc.)
- Minimise indoor and outdoor trip hazards
- Ensure the boiler is in full working order
- Put emergency provisions (blankets, torches etc.) in accessible places
You might also want to put up a few Christmas decorations to help mark the festive season.
Arrange social touch-points to ensure your loved one stays as safe and happy as possible:
- Ask a neighbour or nearby friend to check-in every so often, to have a quick chat and make sure everything's OK
- Call when you can to help them stave off loneliness - gather the family together and make sure they know they're missed
- Help them arrange to attend social events with friends or in the local community, such as Christmas dinners, tea mornings or bingo
Use these simple tips to start planning elderly care for Christmas and ensure the season is a happy one for your older loved ones.
A live-in care arrangement can also provide support in all of these areas, offering safe transport options, advice on inclusive events and 24/7 help around the home.
Find out how live-in care can help keep your loved one safe and socially engaged over Christmas by speaking to the friendly team at The Good Care Group.