Seniors & the Holidays

Here are the five tips for keeping your aging parents happy throughout the Holidays in spite of any family turmoil and dramatics.   There’s always “one” in the family, isn’t there (?) that likes to stir things up.

Given these findings, Ellen and Andy Smith, owners of the local office of Comfort Keepers®, a franchised, in-home care services provider have provided the following tips for family members to address with their aging relatives this holiday season to ensure a happy and healthy time is had by all.

1.     Link Up with Like Minds: Senior groups plan activities like exercise, meals, games and trips for seniors wanting to get out of the house and expand their circle of friends. Look into these groups with your relative and find one that best fits their interests. Some local numbers to call: The Goebel Center in Thousand Oaks at 805-381-2744, the Camarillo Senior Center at 805-4824881, and the Simi Valley Senior Center at 805-583-6363

2.       Pick Up a Pen: Sending holiday cards is a wonderful way to spark a new kind of relationship between family members. Once these lines of communication have been opened, seniors will be more inclined to keep up with the correspondence long after the holiday season ends.

3.      Get in the Game: Brainteasers, memory games and mathematical puzzles are not only fun but can employ areas of the brain that aren’t regularly stimulated. Many experts recommend taking preventative measures against Alzheimer’s, including partaking in mentally stimulating activities, particularly crossword puzzles, scrabble, or brain teasers. Medical experts believe that these mind building hobbies help nourish the brain and build a buffer against diminished brain function. Try a few with your relative while you are in town and leave them with a few books or games that they can continue using after you leave.    Doctors in Japan have gone so far as to recommend the purchase of hand-held video brain-training games for elderly patients to stimulate their brains regularly at home. Google “brain games for seniors” for good ideas.

4.      Make a List and Check it Twice: Send your relative a list of possible gift ideas for other family members and review their purchases upon your arrival while helping them with wrapping. If you have the luxury of arriving prior to the holiday, accompany your relative on a shopping excursion to select the perfect presents.

5.      Hire a Helping Hand: If you are still concerned your relative is in jeopardy of mentally “checking out” when the holiday season comes to a close, discuss the possibility of hiring an in-home companion or CNA. Not only will this person be able to help with basic chores and activities, and personal care too if needed, but the caregiver will be able to provide much-needed social interaction for your loved one on a daily, weekly or live-in basis.

Ellen and Andy Smith own the local office of Comfort Keepers® which provides in-home Caregivers and Certified Nursing Assistant level care  for individuals needing assistance with activities of daily living. Services are tailored to the individual needs of each client, and helps seniors to continue living safely and in the privacy of their own home. Care duties include companionship, meal preparation, light housekeeping, grocery shopping, transportation, personal care assistance, accident prevention, and more. Comfort Keepers has over 550 independently owned offices worldwide.  Call 805-494-9900, 805-389-4600, or 805-526-6000

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