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From the Neighborhood Press

Keeping the Sparkle Alive

The holidays were over. Pam always enjoyed seeing family and friends and all the little gifts and cards that trickled in every day leading up to Christmas. It was a time of year she always looked forward to. But this year, even as the Christmas decorations were being taken down, she was excited for the new year. Her son and daughter-in-law had tucked a card into her gift this year. They wrote about the new year to come and how they were planning to come visit again in January and take her out for lunch! And her grandsons promised to send her a video of their basketball games coming up. Life was moving on in a good way. Her family inspired her to get up each morning, do well with the exercises she was doing in her Memory Care program, and participate in her assisted living home’s social activities. And she kept her family’s Christmas cards right where she could reach them so she would remember when their next visits would be.

As the year comes in an end and we welcome in 2023, it’s the time to look forward and continue to celebrate and anticipate. Seniors need to know that their family will continue to be there for them in the new year especially after the excitement of the holidays are over. Here are some ways to help them transition into a new year and keep the hope alive!

Cards

Christmas cards are always fun, especially when they include a heartfelt letter inside. But this year, consider adding a note about how you will continue to be involved in their life throughout the new year. Tell them you’ll be visiting often and give them some encouragement to embrace life at their assisted living or nursing home. “Keep up those daily exercises because we will be coming to take you out on walk often!” You might also consider doing something on a weekly basis with your senior such as lunch after church or Friday morning breakfast. Being involved in their life will continue to melt away the Arvada winter chills and bring some sunshine!

Call them up. If you don’t live very close to Grandpa or have a busy schedule, phone calls can go a long way especially if you make the effort to connect with your loved one regularly. Consider calling at the same time each week. Talk with your senior’s caregivers to determine when a good time and day would be to give them a call. If your senior has difficulty with phone calls, they may be able to connect better using video technology. Ask those caring for your loved one to assist with these calls if necessary.

Encourage participation. Life at a senior home can be beneficial to help keep your loved one interested and socially stimulated in addition to the personal and medical care they might receive. When you visit next time, encourage your senior to participate in as many daily activities as possible. Find out if you can be involved in their memory care exercises or special events hosted by your senior’s assisted living home. With flu season in full swing, it’s important to check with the hospitality desk about any precautions currently in place to help keep everyone at the community safe. Elderly care is something every family member can participate in, even if it’s just spending time together and sharing some good food.

Even though all the excitement of the holidays are over, you can continue to be there for your loved one and show them how much you want to be involved in their life throughout the new year. With our busy schedules, it’s important to take a minute to recognize priorities and be there for those seniors in our life who would appreciate our love and care. Family will always mean the world to them! And if you are a friend, you’ll can also make a huge difference to an elderly person. Little things can mean so much. Make 2023 their best year yet!

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