Washington Community

Aging with Care | Respect the Traditions, Special Needs of the Elderly

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
12/23/14  8:18 PM PST
Elders Christmas Thanksgiving

Aging with Care | Respect the Traditions, Special Needs of the Elderly – By Marla Beck for the Madison Park Times

The holiday season is here — a time to be with family and friends and to celebrate. Make the most of it, but while doing so, pay attention to the special needs of aging friends and family.

Aging parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends have traditions that date to their youth; many customs have been handed down through the generations. This year, spend time in conversation; include your children and grandchildren. Ask your elders what the holidays meant to them growing up.

It’s my belief that our parents and grandparents are more closely tied to holiday rituals than we are. Closely listen to their recollections; then, help them reenact their special traditions.

Aging creates challenges 

When making holiday plans, think through the needs of the aging.

When asked, elders often respond, “Don’t make any special accommodations for me.” They say this because they don’t want you to do extra work or change plans on their account.

Many elders are amazingly capable. They live active lives and drive themselves everywhere. However, difficulty with night vision comes with age. With our Seattle gray, overcast skies, twilight begins as early as 3:30 p.m. during the holiday season. With this in mind and without saying why, start your holiday events early in the day. If you are concerned about an elder driving, pick them up and return them home after the day’s celebrations.

Be sure stairs are well-lit both inside and outside the home. If you can, keep the holiday activities on a single level in your home. If elders are frail or unsteady, ensure their safety by escorting them up and down stairs. To avoid stumbles and falls, remove throw rugs.

Read the Full Article at Madison Park Times.