Lisa Krue, a home care professional, knows Halloween can be fun for young and old alike. Last year, she helped Milt, an elderly man she cared for, pass out candy to young trick or treaters. “He loved that, just loved it,” she recalls. “At first he didn’t sound all that interested, but once kids started coming by, he got more and more excited.”
For Norma, a senior who used a wheelchair, Lisa helped put together a Halloween costume—cheetah-print pajamas and paper cat ears—for Norma to wear when she handed out candy to the excited children in her neighborhood. "She was laughing," Lisa says. "I took her picture, and she wanted to send it to her grandchildren."
Professional caregivers can help seniors make fall a time for holiday fun and meaningful memories in a well-tended home.
As you look forward to Thanksgiving, Jewish holidays or other celebrations this fall, you may worry about how to involve your elderly loved one in the festivities. Professional home care can make a positive difference and alleviate those worries. One year, Lisa helped Norma host family members for a Thanksgiving meal at Norma's home. "Norma shared her recipes, and I had her guiding me in making them," Lisa says. At the same time, she arranged for Norma to help where she could, with tasks like shopping and prepping ingredients.
Having a professional caregiver allowed Norma to shop for and prepare food, and enjoy the day surrounded by family, without having to leave her home.
Professionals who perform home care services can help your loved one continue family holiday traditions by putting up festive decorations around the house and planning menus or special foods. To make gift-giving easier, a professional caregiver can assist with shopping, either in local stores or online sites and help with gift wrapping for any autumn birthdays. Sending holiday cards or notes could be made possible for your loved one with the help of a home care professional. These caregiving professionals could work with your senior to purchase cards and stamps, address envelopes and mail the cards out.
Caregivers can help seniors attend holiday religious services or go to concerts or parties by providing transportation. Senior veterans can even look to a professional caregiver to help them attend Veterans Day events. Even a seemingly small thing, like helping your mom or dad find a familiar and favorite holiday show on television, can make your loved one feel connected to special times of the year.
Holiday preparations and customs can keep seniors engaged with friends and family, give them events to look forward to, ward off loneliness and lift them out of their daily routine. They can also cement relationships with their professional caregivers as well, as they spend time reminiscing together about holiday memories and traditions. Visits with extended family can also be a time to check on your loved one’s overall well-being.
Of course, not every day is a holiday. Even mundane matters can be easier for your elderly loved one with the help of a professional caregiver. With fall in the air, new maintenance tasks often pop up around the house and outdoors.
If you arrange for landscaping, furnace inspection, leaf raking, window washing or snow removal for your loved one's home, a professional caregiver can make sure those services are performed regularly and thoroughly. Helping your senior schedule, manage and pay repairers and service providers is also a responsibility that professional home caregivers can take on.
At this time of the year, professional companion-care services can help your senior sort clothes; putting warm weather clothing away in storage and pulling out seasonal coats, hats and gloves. Any clothing that no longer fits or isn’t needed can be taken to a charity. Clocks may need to be set back when daylight savings time ends. A garden could be pruned back for the winter. Having your loved one involved in some housekeeping tasks can help him or her feel productive and needed.
Lisa asks seniors in her care to help her with simple chores like drying dishes or dusting. “It keeps their hands busy,” she says. “It’s like occupational therapy, too.”
In some warmer climates, fall brings welcomed relief from scorching summer days and allows professional caregivers to help seniors in their care enjoy some time outdoors. A walk or ride around the block offers seniors a change in scenery, gives them a look at seasonal decorations in the neighborhood and provides the opportunity for them to feel like an active part of their community.
Winter on the Way
Shorter days can make all of us--regardless of age--feel like hibernating. A professional caregiver can keep an eye on your loved one’s behavior as the nights get longer, watching for mood changes and helping him or her remain as active and engaged as possible during fall and winter months.
If you’re concerned about an elderly loved one during this time of year, talk to a caregiving service to find out if a professional could help both you and your senior enjoy holidays and every day. Learn more about helpful companion-care services by clicking here.