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Including the Elderly During the Festive Season

Ever noticed how the faces of your grandparents light up whenever you drop by for a visit? Or do your parents constantly call to check in on how you’re doing? In a 2018 research by Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, it was revealed that older people tend to feel happier when they are not lonely, or have a strong social network. And one of things the elderlies can look forward to is to spend quality time with their families during special occasions and festive celebrations. Yet, how often have we planned our events to include them?

With the festive season just around the corner, there is no better time to make plans to create everlasting memories with the elderly in your home by incorporating multi-generational activities.

Understanding the Elderly

While the holiday season may mean fun parties for most of us, you’ll be surprised that older people may find the occasion a little difficult. Some of them may be reminded of the good old days when they were young and healthy, or think about friends or family who are no longer around.

Seniors who are dealing with mobility issues, who do not see the extended family often, or are suffering from more delihibating conditions such as dementia or depression may even struggle with trying to hold a long conversation or connecting with family. They may even think of themselves as a burden and shrink away from the crowd even more.

Not sure how to go about incorporating activities for your elderly loved ones? Here are some ideas to create a festive atmosphere fit for the whole family – including the older folks:

1. Bring Back the Oldies

Back in the days where there were no smartphones or computers, many people – young and old – played games to pass the time. The next time, instead of opening an app to play a digital game, ask your grandparents or parents what they used to play when they were young. This not only helps them reminisce about the fun times, but can also keep the entire family entertained and engaged. Ask them in advance if you need time to prepare, or choose from a list of popular traditional games such as:

 

  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Card games
  • Chess
  • Tossing games
  • Dancing
  • Paper balls
  • Five stones
  • Kuti kuti
  • Chapteh
  • Zero point
  • Mahjong
  • Bingo
  • Board games

 

These games make great gifts for old folks or people from past generations.

2. Organise a Cookout

Another way to involve the whole family is to prepare meals together. Find out what are some of the favourite foods of the elderly and plan out a cooking plan. Potlucks are great for festive seasons and birthday celebrations, and they make for better greetings than turning up empty handed. For example, if grandma does not enjoy Western food, you can bring a roast duck to substitute a turkey for a traditional but unique Christmas dinner. This option is highly personalised, perfect for elderly with special dietary requirements.

3. Create New Traditions

Creating new traditions that cater to older people lets you include all the people you love in the celebration. Incorporate games such as those mentioned above, and design a special dance that can be done with grandma or grandpa. The goal is to keep everyone, regardless of their ages, engaged with fun-filled activities.

Make sure to keep the tradition going – this gives the elderly something to look forward to, and you’ll also get a peace of mind knowing you’ll also be included when you, too, grow old one day!

4. Reminisce the Good Old Times

Sometimes just a simple conversation can do wonders to lift up spirits. You can start a conversation on a topic that the elderly are familiar with, such as Singapore in the olden days – or how about getting them to share how your parents were like when they were young? Sharing intimate details creates a tighter bond, perfect for keeping the elderly feel part of the group. Get together to watch old-school dramas or look through photo albums, too.

Giving Caregivers a Helping Hand

Caregivers who are in charge of elderly care may become highly stressed during festive seasons, as they need to plan for the occasion as well as tend to the needs of their ward. The added responsibility can also make it hard to truly enjoy and indulge in the special occasion.

At Jaga-Me, you’ll find support in the form of professional elderly care. Our respite care service provides hourly home care for the elderly in Singapore, and enables you to take some time off to recharge and unwind. Through our professional nurses and trained specialists, caregivers can take a few hours off to recharge and unwind. We also offer 24-hour care, suitable for elderly persons with conditions such as dementia or mobility restrictions.

Start your festive celebrations without worry. Contact us to find out more about our respite care or other services today.

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