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How to Safely Celebrate the Holidays with Seniors in the Age of COVID-19


Although celebrating the holidays in 2020 posed a challenge to many of us, 2021 has inspired hope. With millions already vaccinated and many receiving their booster shots, this year’s celebrations can be modified for high-risk seniors to maximize the joy and minimize potential exposure to COVID-19.




Adapting or Creating New Traditions


The essence of the holidays is oftentimes centered around yearly traditions. Whether it’s making your favorite dishes or displaying your favorite decorations, there are a number of ways to bring the holiday spirit to your loved ones. To alleviate stress, prioritize the traditions that mean the most to your family.


For example, if making cookies or a specific type of food is important, use Zoom or another video conferencing platform so family members near and far can join in. Have everyone sign in at the same time (don’t forget to account for time zones!) and follow your favorite recipe step-by-step, together. If your senior wants to participate and lives independently or with a Presidio Home Care Aide, make sure they have everything they’ll need to follow along. Encourage them to prepare the following:

  • Necessary ingredients

  • Recipe

  • Technology to participate (if they don’t already have it)

  • Invite that includes date, time, and any links (make sure to send multiple reminders)

If you have a loved one that prefers not to participate in the activity, but would still like to visit with everyone, consider sending him or her a batch of whatever food you’re making ahead of time. That way, when they log on and see your smiling faces, they can just sit back, enjoy the company, and chow down on the seasonal treat.


Exchange Cards and Gifts Ahead of Time


There’s something so special about receiving a hand-written note or card during the holidays. Do a little planning and arrange for family members to send each other holiday cards and open them together on a group call.


Consider having all of your family members send cards to your elderly loved one. In a time when in-person visits take place less often, you can brighten up his or her day by expressing your gratitude and love with pen and paper.


Make your holidays even more special by exchanging baked goods, holiday decorations, or personal gifts.



Gather in the Great Outdoors


Weather permitting, one way to safely enjoy a holiday gathering is by moving it outdoors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 spreads easily indoors, when people are closer than 6 feet apart for an extended period of time. Moving this year’s festivities outside enables your loved ones, especially a high-risk senior, to gather in person without worrying about transmission.


Consider hosting a gathering with hot drinks and finger foods, instead of an indoor, multi-course meal. An outdoor bash in the wintertime will require less preparation and also make for beautiful photos. Although it’s less risky to gather outdoors, encourage your guests to mask up when they’re not eating or drinking. For any unvaccinated persons or persons that may be at greater risk of infection, the CDC still recommends wearing a well-fitted mask.


Celebrating with Presidio Home Care


Holidays are always a challenge, but if there’s anything the pandemic has taught us over the last two years, it’s that time and attention are priceless gifts. By incorporating family traditions and creating new ones, your senior family members can still feel safe without feeling isolated. Whether it’s helping them shop for ingredients, opening gifts, or logging into a virtual gathering, Presidio Home Care Aides can help bring the holiday spirit to your loved one’s home. Contact your local office today to learn more.

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