When we were children, we couldn’t wait to stay up until the
ball dropped in Times Square, the confetti was tossed, someone sang Auld Lang
Syne … or whatever meant that we didn’t have to be in bed at the usual time.
As young adults, we looked for parties and threw the
confetti ourselves. We were mature enough, we believed, to take on the world.
We wrote New Year’s resolutions that we took seriously, for a couple of days at
And then in middle age, we may have been a bit more subdued,
but noting the year and thinking about the future were still important for
So, what about older
adults? Have they seen it all? Are they “over” celebrating? Should they
have a special early afternoon party and plan to be in bed at the usual
I suggest, rather emphatically, no!
As long as older adults are physically and cognitively
healthy, celebrating and writing resolutions can still have real meaning for
them. Planning new activities, engagement with family and friends, volunteering
or working, refurnishing their houses or moving to new communities . . . new
life adventures . . . may be some of their resolutions for the new year.
As C. S. Lewis wrote
Are you an older
adult? Do you live with or care for an older adult?
I invite you to take
time to celebrate the new year and write your resolutions for 2019!
If you would like suggestions for New Year’s Eve
celebrations and making resolutions, look at New
Year’s Eve & Resolutions (Home Care Assistance) and New
Year’s Eve Party Ideas (Medicare).
The winter holidays are here! Thanksgiving with turkey and the trimmings, conversation, football on TV, and family games. Kwanza, Christmas and Chanukah are next. What warm memories of these celebrations many of us have and how much we would like to participate in all our usual traditions.
But . . .
We are caring for a loved one who has a dementia. Everyone is adjusting to new ways of living our daily lives. We don’t have energy for all our usual preparations. And some of the old traditions aren’t appropriate for a person who has a dementia.
How can we have our special holidays? Here are a few quick tips.
- Adjust your celebrations.
- Modify and simplify your traditions, keeping some of the special memories.
- Involve your loved one in holiday activities that are comfortable and safe for him or her.
- Communicate with family and friends.
- Talk about your loved one’s strengths and changes.
- Plan new traditions together.
- Take care of yourself.
- Ask for help with holiday tasks and caring for your loved one.
- Arrange for respite time . . . quiet time, pampering, exercise . . . for you.
Holidays can still be special for you, your family and friends.
Enjoy the possible. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy new traditions.
For more about holiday celebrations, read the National Institute on Aging article, “Holiday Hints for Alzheimer’s Caregivers” at https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/holiday-hints-alzheimers-caregivers.