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How to Celebrate the Holidays with the Elderly during the Pandemic

Christmas is only a few days away, but this year won’t be the same. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic we have no choice but to take extra precautions to keep our family safe, especially our older relatives. The CDC warns how dangerous exposing our older relatives to the virus can be. Because of their old age, they are more susceptible to catching the virus. We wouldn’t want to do that to our older relatives. But we wouldn’t want to leave them out of the celebrations either, as this can also make them feel lonely. No one wants to feel lonely at Christmas. Luckily, no one has to be left out on this joyous occasion. Here are some ideas you can try to celebrate the holidays with your older relatives, and keep them safe at the same time:

Plan a personal visit ahead of time 

If you’re planning to visit your older relatives in person, make sure that you guys plan the proper preparations for the visit. Make a strict guide and schedule for your visit. Limit the number of guests to your immediate family (less than 10 is ideal). It would also be a good idea to have your celebration outdoors where there is proper ventilation. In case it gets cold in your area during the holidays, why not set up a bonfire?

Ensure that you practice social distancing (6-feet or 1 meter apart). And make sure to avoid touching each other. Sadly, that means no kisses, hugs, handshakes, or even high-fives. Make sure to self-quarantine your entire family for 2 weeks (14 days) or more before the visit. Remember to wear your masks, face shields, and gloves. Practice washing your hands and bring rubbing alcohol when you visit. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

If you’ll be having dinner together, make sure not to share utensils. It might be best for you to bring personal food and utensils and eat individual meals instead of sharing. When it comes to gift-giving make sure that you’ve disinfected the gifts before and after you’ve wrapped it. Try not to stop-by anywhere else (convenience store, grocery, etc.), before visiting your older relatives.

If your older relatives live in a nursing home, you might not have as much freedom with the amount of time you get to spend with them. Thankfully plenty of nursing homes have started to ease up on the visiting restrictions. So, try to make the most out of your visit by planning the different activities you can do safely. Maybe you can play a game of charades, Pictionary, or Who Am I? These are great games that don’t require you to touch each other and allows you to social distance all while having fun.

Opt for a virtual get-together instead 

As much as you would love to spend Christmas together in person, the pandemic just makes it too risky. Why not do a virtual get-together instead? Not only are they much safer for both parties, but they are also easier to plan. You can even create a Christmas program beforehand and send it to your relatives together with the Zoom link (or whatever video messaging application you’re going to use). You can pretty much do anything virtually, thanks to technology. Here are some virtual activities to try:

  • Send each other recipes and watch each other cook or bake through the screen.
  • Try to set up a camera at the dining table so you can all enjoy a virtual dinner together. Play games that you can do through video calls such as Pictionary or family trivia
  • If you’re worried about the gifts, don’t be! You can still send them over through a delivery service. You could either send them in advance and wait till Christmas day to open it together. Or you could schedule the time of the delivery at any time you want.
  • Send over baked goods or freshly cooked meals to friends and family.
  • Watch Christmas movies “together” through Netflix Party.
  • Invite as many of your relatives as you can and have each separate family wear a specific color. One family wears green, the other red, you get the idea.
  • Do a virtual Christmas costume contest or a family Christmas card competition. Set up prizes or even do an online family raffle.

Don’t let the pandemic ruin your holiday celebrations. Just because you can’t be together in-person like you used to, doesn’t mean that Christmas is canceled all-together. You have to make the most of what you can get. You just have to learn to get a little creative with it and the possibilities will be endless. Just remember that whatever you plan to do, the safety of your loved ones should always be the number one priority.

Meta title: Holiday Celebration Ideas with Elderly during the Pandemic
meta desc: The holidays are coming up, but the pandemic has made it difficult to visit our older relatives. Here are some ideas you can try to safely celebrate with the elderly.

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