Christmas Build Up Activities for Older Relatives

Despite the current restrictions, it is hoped that families will be able to spend time together this Christmas.  

Christmas is a holiday that is usually orientated around family gatherings, however get-togethers will be especially poignant this year, with many families having not seen their loved ones for months. 

Unfortunately some older people will be spending Christmas alone or may not get to see extended family members, whether due to physical limitations or the fact that their family no longer lives nearby.  In these circumstances, it’s important to make them feel included in the celebrations as much as possible.

Don’t forget there is more to the festivities than just a single day.  Why not take a look at these seasonal activities that you could do together with the older adults in your bubble in the run up to Christmas Day.

Christmas Shopping 

Christmas shopping may look a little different this year, although hopefully you can still gain some enjoyment from it.   You can help older relatives by taking them shopping and helping them to carry their purchases.  Alternatively, if they are unable to get out, you could support them to shop online if they are not comfortable doing so themselves. 

Wrapping the presents is also something you may wish to do together.   Older fingers may not be quite so nimble as they one were so sitting down together and helping them with scissors and Sellotape could be just what they need. 

Taking a tour of the Christmas decorations

If shopping or being in busy places is a little too much for your loved one, then another opportunity to get out of the house is to take them on a tour of the Christmas displays in your local area.  Over the past few years, people have really gone to town on decorating their homes with dazzling lights and festive displays.  This year, many of them have gone up even earlier to bring some much needed cheer.   

If you’re getting out of the car to have a walk, then do remember to wrap up warm and be careful underfoot, however this is an activity that can be done from the comfort of your warm car seat. 

Writing Christmas Cards

Despite the growing use of technology, sending Christmas cards is still a tradition for many people and is a great way to keep in touch with family members and friends.

You could help your loved one to compile a list of people that they’d like to send cards to, or if you are feeling creative you could help them to make their own personalised cards.

Writing or making Christmas cards can be a great activity for people living with dementia as the festive images can help to trigger memories and encourage them to reminisce about past events.   It’s also a great way of keeping hands busy and maintaining dexterity.

Christmas Baking

Many older people enjoy baking and it’s a good way to evoke memories of past Christmases, however it’s not always an activity that people can manage on their own any more. 

Christmas is a great opportunity to bake together whether it’s a simple Christmas shortbread recipe or you’re stirring up the wonderful ingredients for a Christmas cake or pudding.  Baking is a lovely hobby which can be enjoyed across generations, so perfect to get the grandchildren involved too!

Do you have your own traditions that you like to do with your family members?  Why not leave a comment on our Facebook post and let us know how you will be getting in the mood for Christmas this year?