How to safely celebrate with an elderly loved one

This December, there will be many people longing to spend time with ageing parents, or to see elderly relatives or friends who they haven’t been able to see since before March. A visit, short or long, to bring back a glimmer of normality after being in the pandemic for nearly 10 months, would be wonderful for so many. But this year the Christmas holidays will be extraordinary. Many of us have had to take the difficult decision to stay socially distanced from our elderly loved ones, to limit the risk of infection, and will have decided to celebrate a different kind of Christmas holiday.

Here are a few ideas to try and make it as special a celebration as possible, even if you aren’t able to physically get together this year:

  1. Cook together via a video chat. We have all become so well versed in using technology to socialise during the pandemic, take it one step further and cook together! Grandparents or elder friends or relatives often enjoy sharing their favourite recipes or tips; offer them the opportunity to advise or cook alongside you. The added bonus of a virtual cooking session, is that you won’t be in the same kitchen, so it won’t be a case of too many cooks!
  2. Share your lockdown learnings! Staying at home to avoid COVID-19, has led many people to explore new hobbies to pass the time. Either share the results of a new found hobby or interest with your relatives, or purchase something more meaningful that aligns with one of their new hobbies or interests. Even if it’s not to shop-standard, personal homemade gifts are so much more heartfelt, and can often generate a giggle or two!
  3. Create a little calendar with festive activities for each day between Christmas and New Year. The activities don’t have to be elaborate; they could be simple things like wearing Santa hats and drinking hot chocolate together over the phone, or listening to a couple of the same Christmas carols, or even singing one together over video.
  4. Share secret recipes. If your relatives have not yet passed down their most beloved family recipes, now may be the perfect time to do so. A few couple of households could try cooking one of the recommended recipes and your elder relative could rate them. Maybe you will finally figure out how to make that sage and hazelnut stuffing!
  5. Drop round an out-door friendly gift. A small outdoor plant with LED lights and shatterproof ornaments could provide an elderly relative with a lovely view from their window.
  6. Drop off meals using contactless delivery. If you live far away, order your relatives’ favourite meal from a restaurant in their local area and arrange for it to be delivered by a third-party delivery service using contactless delivery. Or, if you are nearer to them, drop round their favourite tipple or even a slice of cake.
  7. Eat together via video. Consider eating Christmas lunch with your loved ones, via a video session. Place your computer or mobile device in a spot where your relatives can easily see everyone at the table.

2020 has undoubtedly tested our resilience but, if we are creative, we can certainly make Christmas as special as possible still. Perhaps we will include some of these new experiences into our Christmas holiday traditions in the future, you never know!

If you are caring for a loved one, and need a period of respite, or if one or both of your parents need a bit of help around the home, we’d be happy to assist. We offer personalised home care services built around the needs of our clients. Contact us today for some friendly advise.

Anna Carless

Head of Marketing

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