grandparents and danny

The holidays bring together families from all backgrounds and walks of life to celebrate everyday blessings. However, the holidays can take a turn if your loved one suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s, or is simply not feeling 100 percent, and is overcome by the stress of the holiday. There are steps that you and your family can take to make this season fun and comfortable for seniors in your family.

As people age, their taste changes and their senses fade, as does the ability to chew some difficult food so it is a good idea to create some special dishes for seniors. Special dishes should use less salt and instead focus on savory spices (not spicy!). Sit close to your loved one and make sure that they chew slowly and keep an eye on the progress of the evening.

Senior communities, community centers, religious organizations, and other places have community meals. Take time to volunteer at these places for a way to spread goodwill in your community. Sharing the holidays with others and helping the less fortunate lifts your spirits and can infuse you with the holiday spirit and doing it as a family can really be a way show the younger generation how to serve and be grateful for what they have.

And finally give thanks! This holiday is a time to consider the things you appreciate in life. Gratitude can have a positive impact on your health and that of your loved ones. Although it may be challenging, it’s important to find things to be grateful for and people to be grateful towards. Studies have shown that gratitude can relieve depression, lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep.