Celebrating Holidays with Seniors Safely During COVID-19

Celebrating Holidays with Seniors Safely During COVID-19

It goes without saying that celebrating the holiday season in 2020 is going to be a little different than others. Many families are struggling to figure out ways to be together safely, especially with their elderly loved ones who have had even stricter limited contact for months.

Despite these challenges, we believe coronavirus shouldn’t take away holiday cheer! Here are some social distancing ideas we recommend for celebrating the holidays with your aging loved ones:

  • Adjust Traditions to be Virtual: This can be watching your favorite Christmas movie together, swapping recipes and even cooking together on the call, opening presents or just simply hopping on a family call to chat about favorite holiday memories. Make it extra festive by encouraging everyone to dress up!
  • Holiday Tailgate Party: This is particularly a good idea for senior loved ones who have a hard time with technology for virtual gatherings. Plan a time where your family can tailgate to drop off presents at your senior loved one’s home (be sure to wear gloves or sanitize gifts beforehand). You can even sing Christmas carols from your car and still create an atmosphere full of love and fun – from a distance!
  • Send Smiles via Snail Mail: Coordinate with your family to have everyone mail gifts, pictures and letters to your loved one all at once, so they really feel the love and closeness. This is another good option for seniors who have a difficult time with technology. Plus, it gives them tangible items and memories to hold onto afterwards.

While we don’t recommend in-person gatherings this holiday season, we understand many families will be tempted to find creative ways to still be together. If you’re considering an in-person visit, please take the following into account beforehand, especially if you have a grandparent or aging loved one joining:

  • What is the level of COVID-19 in your community? Check your local city government website for the best and most up-to-date statistics and advisories.
  • What type of venue will the gathering take place? Outdoors is less risky and recommended. If indoors, check to ensure there is good ventilation and open windows.
  • How many people will be there and how long will it last? Some cities have restrictions on the number of people at gatherings, but generally the more people, the higher the risk. The same applies to the time you spend at gatherings, which should be minimized.
  • Have attendees been naughty or nice? It’s good to have a discussion with your family members before gathering to ensure they’ve been following social distancing measures prior to the event and ensure they are willing to take extra precautions during as well. Ask for everyone to keep masks on and to only give “air hugs” from at least 6 feet away. Plus, have a system for keeping high-touch surfaces clean.
  • Does anyone have pre-existing conditions that make them vulnerable? If so, unfortunately no risks should be taken here and it’s recommended to explore virtual or outdoor-only options.

Based on your answers to these questions, we hope you’re able to determine the safest and best way to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones this year!

If you need additional care or assistance for a senior loved one this holiday season, En Su Casa Caregivers is here to help! Visit our contact page to find a location near your and schedule a consultation today!

Sources:
Visiting Angels
Careworks Health Services