There are few things that the elderly like more than gathering together with friends and family. Aging parents want every chance they can to spend time with their children and grandchildren. Because so many family members live far away from each other, family reunions are the perfect time to bring the generations together. If, as a family caregiver, you are helping your aging parents plan a family reunion, there are several things you should and should not do to ensure they have a good time.
Don’t Let Seniors Get Overwhelmed.
Remember that big events may sound good in the planning stages, but can easily overwhelm seniors as things unfold. It’s important to have the family reunion accommodate as many different ages as possible, so that seniors can easily interact with everyone. The venue should be senior-friendly, such as a pavilion in the park, a rented community center or a beach or lake house. If aging parents are wheelchair bound, then accessibility is a must.
Do Keep Seniors Involved.
It’s important to keep aging parents involved with the day-to-day activities as much as possible. That’s because it’s too easy for the noise and crowds to overwhelm them, minimizing their involvement. Centering one or two activities or games on aging parents is a good way to keep them connected to the celebrations. Giving aging parents specific duties throughout the day, such as saying grace before meals, being a judge at the family karaoke contest and asking them specific questions about family history can bring them into activities and conversations seamlessly.
Do Plan Appropriate Activities.
Planning appropriate activities that involve aging parents is another way to bring generations together. Ideas include card games, charades, family history trivia, and story time for the youngest family members. Of course, aging parents aren’t going to be able to do everything that they once could, so creating realistic expectations is a must. For example, if family members want to go on a hike but elderly parents cannot go, the family caregivers can help them plan to serve a refreshing beverage and snack when everyone returns.
Do Let Aging Loved Ones Share Memories.
Family reunions are also an excellent time to record aging parents’ memories and recollections about their childhood, family history events and more. Set up a personal history station where different family members can interview aging parents on video camera or via audio recordings. Aging parents are usually very open to sharing personal stories and the recordings are a way to preserve the oral history for generations.
Do Make Sure Seniors Are Comfortable.
Family caregivers should also take some time to ensure that their aging parents are physically comfortable for the duration of the family reunion. Since many large venues don’t have comfortable chairs, bringing a sturdy chair just for elderly parents is a good idea. Seniors should also have access to shade and plenty of water to drink. If the elderly parents need to leave the celebration for a nap or early bedtime, they should be able to rely on a family member to help them do it.
When the needs of your aging parents are considered when holding a family reunion, they will enjoy themselves more and those that have come from near and far will get to spend quality time with them. Planning a family reunion with elderly parents isn’t an easy task, but it’s definitely worth it.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Dana Point, CA, please contact the caring staff at Canaan Home Care today! 1-844-CANAAN-1 (1-844-226-2261)