Page 3 - Senior Times South Central Michigan December 2020 - 27-12
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Senior Times - December 2020 Page 3
 NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE CELEBRATING... BE PRESENT
By: Sherii Sherban, Publisher
  This year, celebrating the holidays will most likely mean embracing new traditions. Whether you enjoy loved ones in your home or need
to celebrate utilizing technology, sharing time together can still be fun, festive, and meaningful.
Seeing family will likely brighten her day.
If regular time together is at present part of
 The holidays are about spending quality time with people you care about. Older adults living at home are finding new ways to stay safe and you can help them to celebrate right where they are. Even those that are in an adult care facility will feel loved and included when you find ways to bring the holiday spirit to them.
your daily routine then it’s quite possible that you are already assisting with personal care concerns. Reassure her that you will do so on this special day as well. However, it is possible that she is concerned that she’ll be a burden during a fun time. Respect her wishes and celebrate with her while she remains at home.
 Creating a new meaningful holiday requires family members take action early to be pre- pared, from gifts to technology.
If your mom is living in an adult care facility she will not be able to join you this year but you can still send a basket of goodies for her to enjoy and then take time to connect through technology during the time that she is most active. Work with the staff for alternatives to be able to schedule a special connection. Find out what you can send and when a special holiday basket should arrive in order for her to enjoy with you when you con- nect. If your mom enjoyed the holidays when she was younger then your thoughtfulness may be the perfect way to bring out special memories from her past. Be sure to have a notebook on hand; you may learn new things that were never discussed before.
 Working with staff at the facility ahead of time can be helpful in creating the best celebra- tion possible. Remind yourself that what’s most important is celebrating together in a way that works for the current situation.
continue to be the best way to bring her into
your home to enjoy the festivities. Have a special holiday meal delivered to her home along with
a basket of personal and keepsake items to open together. Engage the grandchildren by inviting them to make special cards and mementos. You can also bring the family to her location to put up lights outside or even to decorate a tree to view through the window. Who doesn’t love a visit from carolers so why not make a special trip to sing wonderful holiday songs?
You may already know that MDHHS issued
a new emergency order that enacts a three-week pause targeting indoor social gatherings and other group activities in an effort to curb rapidly rising COVID-19 infection rates that took effect November 18. While it will elapse mid-Decem- ber, it is realistic to plan for an extension of some kind leading into the new year.
If she regularly spends time with the family then time together may work well but keep the gathering small and make sure everyone applies appropriate personal protective activities to reduce risk of disease transmission.
Start with a plan. Put safety at the fore- front. Determine how best to connect. Keep in mind that grand babies are always a welcomed site and bring smiles to the faces of mature adults, which means technology will be your go-to option.
 The biggest question seems to be, should I bring Mom (or Dad) home to celebrate with the rest of the family? If Mom is healthy and you can arrange transportation, bringing her to the family home could be a great way to celebrate the holidays. Before deciding, however, evaluate risks and talk with her to see how she feels about it. She may be concerned about COVID-19, but also getting stuck there for too long, or personal care needs.
Rather than a holiday meal, turn the visit into a festive occasion with a sing along while wearing special holiday masks, listen to holiday music, or admire cheerful decorations. She may prefer something more low-key like reminisc- ing over old photos or sharing stories from her early days. Either way, keep the time short and plan visiting during her most active time of day.
No matter where you are celebrating... be present.
 If she has been hunkered down at home during this time then connecting across technology will
Publisher’s note: If you have not set your loved one up with interactive technology then now is the time before you want it to magically work. And if I may, buy them the most current technology designed with mature adults in mind, rather than your old hand-me-downs. The reality is that you want them to be able to use it with ease. See page 10 for ideas. Happy Holidays!
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