9 Tips for Managing Elder Care During the Easter Holidays
March 25th, 2022 by Candis Hall
I LOVE the Easter Holidays. I love Easter dinner, Easter egg hunts, and Easter dress-up. You could say I’m a little obsessed with Easter – in a good way!
When it comes to Easter, I am always up for a challenge – especially when it comes to dealing with my mom’s Easter weekend schedule and my own.
Dealing with the Easter holiday can be stressful for almost anyone. However, it can be even more challenging for seniors due to their health and mobility issues. But that doesn’t mean we need to sit back and let the stress take over. Instead, we can make this busy holiday easier for everyone involved by taking action beforehand.
If you’re looking for ways to make everything go more smoothly, here are some of our top tips:
Plan Ahead. Once you figure out your holiday plans, start mapping out a plan to manage your elder’s care. Get together with their care team (doctors, therapists, nurses, etc.) and develop a program that allows everyone to sense what’s happening during the holidays and how those people can be reached if something were to go wrong. Ensure that all of the details are written down and shared with everyone involved, so there aren’t any miscommunications. Eldercare plans can be tailored to fit your family’s needs.
Consider a “Caretaking Co-Host”
Consider asking another family member or friend to fill in for you for a few hours or a day here and there—a sort of caretaking co-host. If your loved one also lives at home, this isn’t hard to pull off. If your loved one lives in a different house, it’s best if the co-host lives nearby. Give the co-host enough information to know how to help your loved one with tasks like using the bathroom or taking medications so you can be available when needed.
Provide simple but enjoyable activities to help your loved one stay active and engaged over the weekend. Activities like crossword puzzles or other games, arts and crafts, and listening to music can stimulate older adults’ minds and provide an opportunity for social engagement.
Bonus Point: Purchase fun, decorative eggs in your loved one’s favorite colors–greens, yellows, and reds–and hide them on shelves or under furniture. If you have multiple residents in the community, consider placing the eggs throughout the facility so everyone can participate.
Be sure your loved one is feeling okay. Many older adults have specific dietary needs, but certain foods may trigger them. For example, if your loved one has diabetes, very sweet foods can cause blood sugar levels to spike. And if they have trouble seeing or have a hard time hearing, it’s not okay for them to be out in a noisy situation. If your family’s hosting the event and your loved one is not feeling well enough to attend, it’s okay to gently tell them and screen their calls as needed during the holiday. There are certain things you don’t want to do when hosting an event in your elderly parent’s home. Be sure to clean up after yourself, especially if you’re using new appliances or electronics that they may not be familiar with. Also, check that all the doors are locked before heading out, especially if your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and may wander off into unfamiliar territory.
Get Input From Your Loved Ones
Express what you are hoping to do for them over the Easter holiday, and have each family member provide input on their ideal plans for the holiday. Everyone should feel like they had a say in their time.
Keep Your Cool
Keeping your cool when challenges arise is important because you play such an essential role in your senior relative’s care. Don’t get angry or disappointed if a situation does not work out as planned – instead, calmly figure out alternatives, and remember that there is always next year!
Be on top of any symptoms.
During this time, it’s important to ensure that your loved ones are in good health and enjoying the holidays. Senior Living at Vivante and other assisted living communities are a fantastic option for seniors who need a helping hand throughout the day — those who are suffering from health conditions, who struggle with mobility or live with dementia. Ensure your loved one is safe during the holiday weekend by visiting their facility and closely monitoring how they’re doing. If you notice any strange symptoms, reach out to a healthcare professional as soon as possible.
Important: Make sure your loved one’s medications are packed up and labeled. Some may need to be refrigerated or kept out of direct sunlight. Also, make sure you have backup prescriptions on hand if needed while you’re on vacay.
Be flexible on visits
This message should be imprinted in your mind. Whenever you make plans to visit your parents, try to be as flexible as possible, make sure that you have time during the day to attend to any of their needs, or even simple things like fetch water. Spontaneity is something that they have lost over time. If they are alone, consider moving them out of their home. Taking them out of the environment where they have spent the last five decades of their life may not be a good idea. They will miss their visitors too much, and it will rustle them too much psychologically.
Plan a rehearsal
Make sure your senior loved ones know what’s going on. Most people will have some sense of what’s to come. If a big gathering blindsides them, they may be short-tempered, agitated, or confused. Assure them that you are looking forward to seeing them and that the rest of the family will be there to help out if something goes wrong.
The key to helping our elders stay active and healthy during Easter is finding a balance between monitoring their health while also improving their quality of life. We need to keep our expectations realistic and ensure that the older person has some level of independence. The key is to look at what your loved ones can do rather than what they can no longer do and then find ways to help them maintain as much of their independence as possible.