The holidays are here, and with all of the shopping, cooking, decorating and merriment, it can be easy to forget about the true meaning of the season - helping one another. No matter what you're celebrating this time of year, a good way to get into the spirit is by donating in some way to those who are less fortunate. Seniors who are living in retirement homes may want to organize their friends and help provide aid to people in need. Here are some ideas:
Start a toy drive
Do you have memories of waking up on Christmas morning and seeing a pile of presents under the tree? Sadly, many children don't get to experience this because their families are unable to afford such gifts. Starting a toy drive is a great way to help kids enjoy the fun and excitement of holiday presents. Get in touch with a local school or charity organization and ask them if they are collecting toys for needy children. Some groups may even hand out "wish lists," which will ensure that kids receive the toys and items they want and need.
Organize a mitten tree
Aside from toys, many children are unable to afford the clothing they need to keep warm. You can help these youngsters by setting up a "mitten tree" in your assisted living community. Once you set up the tree, encourage your friends and loved ones to drop by and hang a scarf, hat or pair of gloves. Once you have enough donations, you can deliver these to the charity of your choice.
Helping the homeless
During the cold weather seasons, many homeless shelters are inundated with individuals who are seeking shelter from the low temperatures. This means that they are in need of volunteers who can serve food and generally help out around the shelter. Donating your time during this busy season, particularly on an actual holiday, can help brighten the days of people who have, for one reason or another, found themselves out on the streets.
Spending time with fellow seniors
If you are part of an elder care community, there may be some individuals in your neighborhood who do not have any family or friends nearby with whom they will spend the holidays. One way to give back this season is by inviting these individuals to your own family gathering, or setting aside some time to pay them a special visit and wish them a happy holiday.
Surgery can place a great deal of stress on patients' bodies regardless of how old they are, but seniors are often at a heightened risk for complications. Although patients typically are given a battery of tests before going under the knife, sometimes these examinations are not enough to assess whether it's safe to operate on older adults. In an effort to improve the screening process, Dr. Mark Katlic launched The Sinai Center for Geriatric Surgery, the first center of its kind to focus squarely on senior patients, The New York Times reports.
The long Thanksgiving weekend presents the perfect opportunity to get together with family and friends and spend time relaxing. People in senior living may especially enjoy the opportunity to share in some holiday crafts with younger relatives. Here are a few ideas to spark your creativity:
The winter holidays can be a particularly challenging time for people with Alzheimer's or dementia, as well as the people who take care of these individuals. Caregivers in particular may struggle with unrealistic expectations regarding the changing capabilities of their family members or loved ones. Instead of dwelling on the differences, caregivers can help people with memory concerns adapt to new traditions and customs that can make them feel comfortable and included. Whether staying home for the holidays or traveling with someone in senior living, here are a few topics for caregivers to consider:
During November, the nation takes the time to celebrate family members, loved ones, and all the men and women who serve individuals in providing people with palliative care at home and in retirement living. Join the country in observing National Home Care and Hospice Month with some of these facts and resources: