Holidays can be a particularly difficult time for families anticipating the loss of a senior loved one, prompting family members to begin grieving before the senior is even gone.
This need not be the case. Making an effort to focus on the positive aspects of the senior’s life can uplift and make the holiday gathering a happy and cherished event for the senior.
One effective, enjoyable way to accomplish this is to enable the senior to participate actively in the family gathering, encouraging him or her to interact, contribute and engage by:
- Sharing family stories
- Recording family history in writing or on video
- Documenting favorite recipes and traditions
It’s also helpful to communicate openly about the impending loss rather than shying away from the topic. This creates a more genuine atmosphere and strengthens bonds between an ailing senior and his or her loved ones.
Similarly, remembering those who have already passed as opposed to avoiding any mention of them honors their memory and reassures an ailing senior that his or her legacy, too, will live on.
Steve is the Chief Professional Officer of LivHOME, www.livhome.com, one of the nation’s largest providers of professionally-led, at-home care for seniors.