Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Family Time Around the Holidays


Submitted by Good Samaritan Society

We’re once again in the midst of the holiday season. For many of us, it is a time we look forward to with anticipation. It means a chance to see our families and friends, think about the good memories we treasure, participate in special traditions, and maybe indulge in a holiday treat or two.

But for many older people, the holiday season can also be a time of stress and anxiety.

Put yourself in Arlene’s shoes. Every year, her children bring their families back to her house, where they celebrate the holidays with presents, food, and by spending time together. Arlene loves to see her family, and this may be the only time of year when everyone is together. But as she has aged, it has become more and more difficult to get everything ready for the celebration.

For instance, it’s no longer easy for Arlene to get around on icy streets and sidewalks to go shopping for gifts. And the shorter days mean that there is less time for her to safely be outdoors. The work of getting the house ready for visitors — with the cleaning, cooking, and decorating — can be overwhelming.

There are many people like Arlene, who want to continue being involved in holiday activities, in spite of growing difficulties. Yet there are steps we can take to make the holidays easier for everyone.

Here are a few tips that can go a long way:

  • If a holiday gathering is at the home of an older person, guests can volunteer to help with cleaning, both before and after the celebration. Guests can also volunteer to bring and help prepare the food.
  • If an older person is travelling to attend the celebration, make sure the gathering place is easily accessible. Help arrange transportation to and from the gathering, if necessary.
  • Build in some down time in the course of events to give everyone a chance to rest.
  • Remember that older people are often on a fixed income, and discuss how many gifts will be exchanged.
  • Try to preserve some traditions from years past, along with creating new traditions for the future.
  • Communicate ahead of time. Many of the challenges that cause holiday stress can be mitigated with a little advanced planning.
  • Keep those lines of communication open!

Finally, remember that Good Samaritan Society — Services@Home offers a holiday package, which can provide help with purchasing and wrapping gifts, setting up a tree, housekeeping, and other tasks that are part of a holiday celebration. Our holiday services are designed specifically for those that need an extra hand during this joyful, but sometimes stressful, season.

Good Samaritan Society — Services@Home provides care such as housekeeping, medication reminders, preparing meals, grocery shopping, and assisting with other needs to help people remain independent at home. To learn more about Good Samaritan Society —
Services@Home, please call 844-359-4446, or visit our website at www.good-sam.com/quadcityhome.

Photo credit: Pamela Moore/iStock