The holidays can be a particularly challenging time for your clients. Sometimes they are left on their own for days at a time while their children are caring for their own families. The holidays can also be stressful as it is a stark reminder of the people in their lives who have passed on before them. Here are five fun ways to help your client stay festive and enjoy the holidays.
Lift the Mood with Music
Research has demonstrated that music can lift mood and trigger memories. Holiday music is especially evocative, bringing back memories of times when your client was younger and raising their own families. Help your client to choose holiday music they can listen to while you're away and during special activities to help lift their mood. Clients who have early-stage dementia will also find music opens doors to particular memories and slows cognitive decline.
Your client's home does not have to be decorated with expensive trinkets purchased at the store. Many of your clients will have decorations they've used over the years that will help them recall past holiday seasons with fond memories. You and your client can also spend time creating new decorations for their home or their families to help them get into the holiday spirit. While doing these activities with your client, ask them to recall past holiday stories. Many find comfort in reminiscing about past seasons and telling stories to those who are interested in listening.
Use Video Calls to Talk With Long-Distance Relatives
If your client has family members who live far away, using video chat can help them seem closer. Your client may not be able to use digital communication on their own, so it may be vital for you to do this with them while you're there. Talk to your client's family to ensure that people will be available for the video chat, and your client won't be disappointed if no one answers.
Many families have a tradition of baking bread and cookies during the holiday season. If your client's family is unable to do this, you may want to step in to bake cookies with your client. Playing holiday music and exchanging holiday stories will help your client to enjoy this time.
Watch a Holiday Movie Together
Some families have a traditional holiday movie they watch each year, such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or It's a Wonderful Life. If possible, talk with your client's family about what the traditions were that they had and arrange for a movie night with family members so your client can serve the cookies they baked and enjoy an evening with their family that you planned together.
Are You Ready to Work With a New Family Over the Holidays?
Many clients are waiting for someone to help them through the holiday season and enjoy the years they have left. At Harmony, it's our mission to offer our clients and caregivers the best opportunities possible. Contact our professional recruiter today so we can get started matching you with a family who's looking for you.