How to bring the elderly home for the holidays

Getting older is hard enough, but the holidays can be especially difficult for seniors.

This week on Home Matters, the guys are joined by Suzanne Newman from Answers For Elders, a Seattle area online community that helps adult caregivers of seniors.

Newman says one of the biggest things is simply understanding the mindset of a senior.

"Number one, the holidays present a lot of triggers that create the blues. They have a lot of memories, family memories, things like that that happened."

Newman says that can lead to increased isolation.

She also says fear increases for seniors as they grow older, both of injury and change. And it can be exacerbated by the holidays, especially as they go to unfamiliar places and have to deal with strange environments while struggling with sight or hearing impairments.

It can be particularly difficult with all of the activity going on, from holiday music to kids running around.

"All of these things, it's just an amazing overwhelming experience for a senior, especially for one who is failing, just to be mindful of that environment."

But she says despite the challenges, seniors should absolutely come over for the holidays and be included in the celebrations.

"There's so many things that you can share. And these times are precious times. Every single holiday I had with my mom, it was like we don't know if it's going to be her last. So I tried really hard at the end of her life to make it special."

Suzanne has plenty of suggestions for ways to make the holidays special for seniors. She says the key is to plan ahead, from pick up to drop off. With a little preparation, you can create peace of mind and allow for a memorable visit.

Listen to this week's show Saturday morning at 8 a.m. to find out how.

This week's Home Matters is sponsored by Answers for Elders.

Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM.
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