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Helping others to prepare for Christmas

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As the nights continue to draw in and the cold, dark winter days take over, we become more susceptible to feelings of fatigue and loneliness. But even the darkest and coldest of nights can be made to feel bright and cosy with Christmas approaching right around the corner.

The magic of the Christmas season largely comes from the preparations we make by decorating our homes and enjoying food and company. For many of our loved ones who require a bit of extra care and attention, it can be a bit difficult to get into the swing of things.

Whether elderly relatives struggling with mobility or loved ones living with disabilities, it can be extremely helpful to assist them in the weeks leading up to Christmas. From decorating the home to carrying out shopping for gifts, there are various things you can do to help make the season feel special for someone close to you.

Home decorations

For just a few weeks every December, the Christmas tree effectively becomes the centrepiece of many homes. Putting the tree up, however, often requires a great deal of time and effort, so those with health or mobility issues may be grateful of some additional assistance.

While it may feel easier to simply do everything for them, it’s also beneficial for your loved one to feel included. Allowing them to handle smaller decorations like ornaments and baubles can provide a sense of camaraderie and coming together, helping to combat any feelings of loneliness or isolation.

Decorating can easily leave behind a bit of a mess, especially with dust from old boxes and stray bits of tinsel going everywhere. It’s important to not overlook the need to clean up afterwards, including giving surfaces a wipe and vacuuming the floors.

Sending and receiving cards

Writing and sending Christmas cards is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, near or far. It’s effective for showing we care about those who we may not see or hear from at other times of the year.

As our physical dexterity and eyesight can become weaker over time, elderly relatives may need a bit of a hand with their Christmas cards. Writing out and reading messages for them can be a big help, especially if you find they have many seasonal greetings to get through.

Someone living with dementia can greatly benefit from this type of assistance with sending and receiving Christmas cards, so that they can reminisce by looking at the traditional Christmas imagery and hearing messages from old friends.

Shopping for presents

Going out to pick up a few gifts for close ones is all part of the fun of Christmas. Many towns and cities revel in the glow of fairy lights, making shopping centres, high streets and small markets all the more inviting. If your loved one is willing and able to venture outside, it’s always a good idea to accompany them with their shopping trips or invite them along with you on yours.

It’s important to remember that weather conditions can become harsher the further we get into December. Wrapping up warm is essential and you may also need to take extra care walking around in icy conditions.

It could be beneficial for elderly relatives to shop online, saving them the hassle of going outside. Why not sit with them and help them use the internet for their shopping, including how to search for gifts and type in the right details.

Visiting others

Above all else, Christmas is a time of togetherness and spending time with others. Living alone can pose as a stumbling block, but having the opportunity to get out of the house will be a big help for those loved ones.

Church services and community gatherings are often some of the best ways to engage with others at Christmas time. This can help to keep any feelings of loneliness at bay, whilst also helping people to keep in touch with the spiritual side of the Christmas season.

For Christmas Day itself, extend an invitation to relatives or friends living nearby to join you in your traditional meal and unwrapping presents. Providing good food and companionship throughout the Christmas period can help our loved ones to feel warm and well looked-after when it’s otherwise a bit cold and dark.