In a flash the winter holiday season is upon us! This typically means our households are a flurry of activity – decorating, buying presents, attending holiday parties, making baked goods, and working to pay for it all. It’s easy to lose sight of what is truly important – your time, and being present for your loved ones.
Giving loved ones the attention they desire can be difficult in the best of times; it can be especially challenging during the holidays when both work and social demands are vying for your time. Make a pact with yourself that this year will be different. Time is something we can never get back. Cherish moments with your children, aging parents and grandparents.
3 Tips to Making Meaningful Connections During the Holidays
Truly being present with family, creating lasting memories, and feeling a sense of connection is not only fun, but good for your overall health and wellness. The holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with your loved ones, especially aging family members whom you are unable to connect with on a regular basis.
As you are shopping, baking and celebrating family traditions, here are some ideas of how to create meaningful connections for all generations during the holidays:
- Prep for the holidays together.
The desire to feel needed and useful is universal among all age groups. When preparing for the holidays, explore ways to engage both the young and old in your family in tasks like decorating the home, baking goodies or even sending out holiday cards. You not only check items off your list, but you help create warm connections and opportunities for sharing favorite memories from the past. The bonus is that each family member leaves with a sense of purpose and belonging.
- Play board games or cards.
We’ve all been at family get-togethers where you find it hard to connect due to either physical or emotional distance that life has created. Games are a great icebreaker and help gather everyone around a common experience, whether you’re 8 or 80. Playing games during family holidays promotes healthy competition, opportunity for good humor fun and jokes, and even improves your health by stimulating your brain and encouraging social interaction.
- Limit Technology Use.
Technology can both connect and disconnect us from people in our lives. When we’re posting, sharing, liking and commenting in the electronic world, we’re not really present in our family gathering. When visiting aging parents or grandparents for the holidays, make sure it’s quality time. Try harder this year to be fully present – you won’t regret it.Some ideas include having your children ask your parents about their childhood, how they met their spouse, about you as a child or spend time looking through old photo albums. Encourage your loved ones to share stories and engage with them as much as possible. Your kids will enjoy learning things you didn’t know, and your parents will benefit from the social interaction.
The importance of Social Interaction for Aging Loved Ones
If you aren’t sure your aging loved ones are living the highest quality of life possible, the holidays are the perfect time to take a step back and evaluate their circumstances. Watch out for signs that your loved one’s health may be starting to decline or that they may need help with daily activities.
The earlier you can catch these warning signs of loneliness, the better chance you have of helping them make a change for the better.
Dedicated to Helping You Enjoy Life to the Fullest during the Holidays and Beyond
At Silver Maples, we’re committed to creating and supporting a positive aging experience, and are prepared to assist your aging loved ones if changes occur. If you’re interested in learning more about our vibrant senior living community near Ann Arbor, the holidays are a great time to come see Silver Maples for yourself and check out the various senior living options we offer.
If you’re still in the research phase and aren’t quite ready to visit, we encourage you to get to know us from afar by exploring our website. You can view our videos and read personal stories and testimonials shared by residents, their families and our staff. You can even request more information to receive our brochure packet. Contact us when you’re ready to learn more, we’re eager to discuss options and help you enjoy a lifestyle and support system you and your family will love.