Senior citizens tend to be more vulnerable to illness, so it’s more important than ever to keep their safety in mind when planning holiday celebrations this year. Even though we can’t gather in large, festive groups and embrace many elder loved ones as usual, we still can involve them in making special memories.
Happy holidays will take a bit more planning and vigilance this year, but it’s more than worth it to protect the health and safety of those we hold dear!
DO keep in touch with seniors you can’t see in person by:
- Planning holiday-themed Zoom or FaceTime calls and sharing memories of holidays past.
- Sending meaningful cards and messages that show seniors how much you appreciate them.
- Offering to decorate the outsides of their homes.
- Wrapping and delivering their holiday gifts (porch pickup works well for this).
- Watching holiday movies together online.
- Tackling outdoor tasks for them, like shoveling snow.
- Sharing a fun video of your family decorating the house or making cookies.
- Surprising them with personalized gifts ordered online and shipped to their homes.
- Making holiday donations to charities that are important to them.
- Ordering food to be delivered by a favorite restaurant.
- Inviting seniors to share holiday blessings and special words of wisdom.
DO follow these important guidelines for in-person events:
- Plan outdoor activities if weather permits.
- Restrict your guest list to a few people.
- Provide plenty of space for social distancing.
- Request that all guests wear masks, wash hands often and use hand sanitizer.
- Come up with a fun way of greeting each other to replace hugs and kisses.
- Consider avoiding contact with people outside your household for 14 days before the event.
- Communicate your plans and precautions to guests ahead of time so they know what to expect.
DON’T attend in-person celebrations if you or any household members:
- Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not yet met criteria for full recovery and safe exposure.
- Have any symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough and shortness of breath.
- Are awaiting COVID-19 test results.
- Could have been exposed to someone with the virus in the last two weeks.
- Are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness, including seniors.
Sources: CDC, comfortkeepers.com