How To Celebrate The Holidays While Social Distancing

Elderly on Christmas

As Covid-19 cases continue to spike and stricter guidelines for social distancing are being put back into place. The holiday season is looking very different this year. Under the current circumstances, it’s advised that families stay home for the holidays and continue to practice social distancing. 

This is an especially hard time to be separated from family and friends and so we have put together a list of 5 ways to celebrate the holidays this year while social distancing.

Take Advantage Of Technology

Even though you are not able to meet in person, take advantage of platforms such as Zoom or Facetime. You could send a Zoom invitation to everyone and celebrate all together – virtually! This will help everyone feel together. 

Remember that it might be overwhelming for your senior loved ones to attend a virtual call. Be sure to be mindful and not to speak over one another. Allow your elderly loved one(s) a chance to speak and listen carefully to what they have to say. You can also decide on activities to participate in before the call.

Include Those Who Can’t Be With You

Even though we can’t all be together in person, be sure to keep family traditions alive and also to include your loved one(s) in activities. For example, bake your grandmother’s famous Christmas recipes (Remember to send her some pictures). Keeping holiday traditions alive this year is extra important. Another way to include those who can’t be with you in person is by doing the things you normally do with your loved one(s) over zoom or FaceTime such as opening presents on Christmas day or singing Christmas carols together. Celebrations aren’t complete without family traditions.

Enroll of Acts of Service 

This time of year can be especially stressful and hard for many people. A way in which you can connect with your loved ones is through acts of service. Along with your loved ones, you can take some time this holiday season to volunteer for a cause that means a lot to you. Donate or volunteer in organizations in need such as hospitals, food banks, community organizations, toy drives for children etcetera.

Host Holiday Movie Nights

A fun activity the whole family can enjoy is a virtual movie night! Streaming platforms such as Netflix and Hulu allows watchers to host a watch party. Which means that you and your friends/family can all watch the same movie at the same tile while chatting with one another. Here is a helpful article on how to set up a watch party.

Send Holiday Cards

Sending holiday cards might be a tradition in your family. If not, maybe this year could be a first for your loved ones. While we’re all social distancing, make this year extra special for your older loved ones  by sending an extra special holiday card. You could include some extra warm wishes and pictures from this year. 

This will be a great way to reconnect with your loved ones from afar and remind them just how much you care.

Tech Savvy Tips For Seniors: How To Attend Virtual (Zoom) Meetings –

Virtual Summit

As days of quarantine and isolation have stretched into months and in-person events have been canceled, virtual meetings and events have become the new normal. For most people, this switch to a more virtual way of interacting has not been a big learning curve. Navigating through Zoom and other online meeting platforms has been pretty simple and easy to do. However, navigating online resources is challenging and frustrating for millions of older adults. 

Social isolation has been a hidden health risk among seniors during the lockdown. We want to decrease the feelings of loneliness and isolation by providing some helpful tips on how to attend virtual meetings. That way, you or your loved one can start attending virtual events, book clubs, hobby clubs, and catch up with friends. 

How To Attend a Virtual Meeting? 

Zoom is currently one of the most popular platforms used to attend virtual events or meetings. You can use it on your phone, laptop, tablet, or desktop (a device that has a camera, microphone, and speakers). Zoom may seem a little intimidating at first, but it’s actually quick to set up and easy to use application. Click this link to follow a step by step guide on how to join a Zoom meeting. 

Another popular application to join online conferences and events is GoToWebinar. This platform can also be used on your phone, laptop, tablet or desktop. It is just as easy to set up and use. Click this link to read a step by step guide on how to sign up and join a GoToWebinar event. 

The final virtual meeting platform we’d like to discuss is Google Hangouts. The great thing about google hangouts is that if you already have a Google account (Gmail address and password), you already have a Google Hangouts account. Click this link to read how to join a Google Hangouts meeting with friends. 

Why Virtual Meetings? 

This pandemic has had psychological impacts on most people due to the increased levels of anxiety, panic, adjustment, and chronic stress. The elderly, who are aware that they are the most vulnerable group, continue to face chronic stress, loneliness, social isolation, fear, and anxiety caused by the uncertainty of when this will all come to an end and the continuing threat that this virus holds for them. Therefore, improving mental health is critically important. Virtual events/meetings allow older adults to reconnect with the world around them, from the safety and comfort of their own homes. 

Now that you have all the tools needed to set up your accounts, go out and enjoy the virtual world. You can always ask a loved one to help get you set up. And speaking of virtual events, we’d like to invite you to our upcoming Summit For Seniors in Quarantine where we are breaking the isolation through entertainment. Be the first to get a sneak peek of our upcoming fan-favorite guests for the summit and more information. 

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12 Easy Gift Ideas For Your Elderly Loved One

Gifts

If you don’t know what to get your elderly loved one for the holiday season, here are some gifts ideas we put together to help you get started. It’s the simple things in life that make the biggest impact.

1. A Gift Card To Their Favorite Restaurant

Sometimes your loved one wants to get out of the house to add some flavor to their day. A gift card to one of their favorite restaurants is a great way to encourage them to get out the house and relive old times with their friends and family.

2. A Family Photo Album

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This is a great gift for a loved one who may be suffering from Dementia, Alzheimer’s or any kind of memory loss. It helps them reconnect with the special memories you once shared with them and reminds them of the beautiful family and support system they have.

3. Board Games

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No matter the age; who doesn’t love a board game? You can choose classics like Bingo, Checkers, Dominos, or a deck of cards, or you can go with strategy games like Risk or Chess. For word nerds, consider games like Scrabble or Bananagrams.

Not only are board games fun but they also keep seniors exercising their brains, engaging in life, and happy. It allows them to interact with their friends and family in a fun activity, and it helps with mental illnesses like anxiety and depression which are common among seniors.

4. A Skin Care Kit For The Winter

The horrors of winter are manifold—frigid temps, bone-chilling wind, the radiator that slowly leaches any and all moisture from the skin. Give a gift that will protect your loved one from the worst of winter’s physiological terrors: Lip balm, hand lotion, cuticle oil, and a facial moisturizer or shaving lotion. The elderly’s skin tends to be very fragile which makes the winter a lot more harsh for them.

5. A Decorative Coffee Mug

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There is no such thing as having too many mugs. A fun mug is a great way to encourage seniors to stay hydrated and enjoy their favorite warm beverages in the colder months. Get a mug that your loved one will love to use daily.

6. A Tote Bag

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Tote bags can be useful for grocery shopping, spending the night out, storage and lots more! Seniors love them and its also a great way to protect the environment.

7. A Cozy Blanket

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Everyone likes to feel warm in the winter time; so why not get a warm cozy blanket to keep them warm during winter!?

8. A Photograph In A Picture Frame

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Do you love your parents? Do they love you? (Of course, they do.) Do you know what they’ll love almost as much? A nice picture of you and your family in a beautiful frame that they can place in their home.

9. A Personal Journal

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A journal is one of the most underrated gifts for a senior. It can help increase focus, promote mindfulness, and boost memory. Journaling allows seniors to keep their mind laser sharp, express themselves freely, and share their thoughts and memories with future generations.

10. Winter Accessories

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If your loved one is anywhere in New England, it’s probably very cold where they’re located. Cold weather accessories are, at the very least, always the first things that go missing when they’re most needed. It is important to keep your loved one warm since they’re at risk for the cold and flu. Mittens, scarves, sweaters, hats and coats are a few must-haves articles of clothing for seniors living in cold climates.

11. A Kindle With Built In Front Lights

This the the perfect gift for your elderly loved one for many reasons. Who doesn’t love to read? Not only are there endless books available to download but the Kindle allows the reader to customize the font size as well as bookmark pages. This is an absolute favorite!

12. The Gift Of Your Time

There is nothing more valuable than spending quality time with your elderly loved ones. Spending time is the most precious thing that we can give to anyone that we love, regardless of their age. Be sure to visit your loved ones during the holiday season to show them that you love them and that they matter to you. Don’t let the busyness of life and shopping make you forgot what’s important. Presence is the best present.