-- Robert Preidt
SUNDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The holiday season is a time
for family gatherings and it's important to include grandparents
and other elderly relatives, experts say.
It is also important to consider the special needs of these
older family members, according to a news release from Ryerson
University in Toronto.
Some older adults may need to be picked up by car. This could be
done by newly licensed grandchildren, giving the two generations an
opportunity to share, connect and bond.
Keep in mind that hearing loss can be an issue for older guests.
Place someone close to them at the dinner table who can repeat
parts of the conversations or assist them in other ways.
Watch for when older people appear not to be part of the
conversation. You can help make them feel included by asking them
about their life experiences.
Bringing out old photo albums is another way to engage older
family members. They can fill everyone in on the names of people,
times, events and locations in the photos.
While some older adults are highly independent and don't like it
when younger adult relatives try to "parent" them, others are
dependent on their adult relatives in some ways. Being sensitive to
these situations will improve your communications with an older
family member and help everyone enjoy their time together.
If you're visiting an older relative in a long-term care
facility, bring young children and perhaps even the family dog or
cat, if the facility allows it. It might also be a good idea to
bring familiar foods from your family's traditions and decorate a
small area of the room with items that have been used in family
celebrations for many years.
The AGS Foundation for Health in Aging offers tips for
beating the holiday blues.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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