By Lori Maxwell, Seventy-Five State Street Administrator
It’s the holiday season, complete with snow on the ground, a nip in the air, and beautiful decorations lighting up the city of Portland each night. There are so many traditions this time of year. By definition, a ‘tradition’ involves the passing of customs or beliefs from generation to generation: who better to celebrate with than the seniors in our family, who may have started some of those traditions themselves?
Visiting aging loved ones over the holidays is important. Whether they are still living independently in their homes, or residing in a community, your company during this time of year will be a wonderful reminder of how much they are loved. And even though their needs and mobility level may be changing, there are still many ways to celebrate.
Here are just a couple of ideas for you and your family:
- Decorate together. The labor of ‘decking the halls’ becomes more challenging as we age, but an extra set of hands can make all the difference. Whether you’re putting up treasured decorations that have been in the family for decades, or simply dropping off a few festive pieces you picked up on the way over, little gestures can help set a holiday mood for your loved one.
- Use technology. Nowadays, putting together a festive slideshow of family photos is easier than ever, and a portable laptop allows you to bring the final product right to their home or apartment. You can even set your slides to music – try adding some of their favorite holiday tunes!
- Give assistance. Your loved one may have difficulty wrapping gifts, or writing, sealing, and stamping all the holiday cards and letters they would like to mail this year. While you sip hot cocoa or reminisce on past holiday seasons, offer to help them finish up any correspondence they’d like to send. Perhaps you can also help them bake a favorite holiday treat.
Here at Seventy-Five State Street, we have a great number of traditions that bring joy to our community each year. Whether it’s our holiday bazaar hosted by residents, or the staff Secret Santa and holiday portraits, there’s always something festive to get involved with. But the most important part of the holiday is that our community members spend time together, sharing warmth, joy, and love. Which traditions will your family take part in this year?