Koinonia Senior Care

Enriching the lives of homebound seniors and their caregivers and inviting our community to join us.

7 Suggestions for Senior Enrichment this Holiday Season

Holiday expectations and schedules are being etched in our minds and on our calendars, despite the COVID cautions in our country.  Excitement and anticipation fill the minds of many while anxious homebound seniors feel increasingly isolated, lonely, and forgotten during this season.  Below are seven suggestions of ways to include and bring value to this season.

Remember their role.

When these great-grandparents were grandparents, their homes were the place where extended family gathered.  Grandma decorated, wrapped gifts, and made a large portion of the meal.  Now, as they’ve aged and become less mobile, their home and cooking are no longer the focus.  Include them in making meals, using their recipes, or inviting them to make those special dishes together.

Intentionally have an early conversation about the holidays.

Actively listen to their concerns.  They are facing new challenges with mobility, hearing, incontinence, frequent urination, and even dementia, which makes being with crowds difficult. Prepare a room that they can quietly retreat to if need be.  

Devise unique ways to lift their spirits in preparation for the celebrations.

Have grandchildren write and mail them a note of how much they are looking forward to seeing them.  Mail advent Scripture, large print words to their favorite Christmas songs, and family pictures. Plan outings to look at lights.  Invite them to holiday services or get services online for them and you to watch together.  

Purchase and help address their Christmas cards and Christmas letters

to their friends. Seniors enjoy mail.  Ask family members and friends to mail your loved one a Christmas card, photograph or drawing to keep their joy alive.   

Long-term care facilities during lock-down.

If Long-term care facilities are still in lock-down, send cards and letters, cookies and unscented lotions, decorations and photographs, and large print lyrics to Christmas songs.  Be sure to include the staff, too!  Call and listen to their Christmas stories!

The gift of time

from the people they care about is the best gift they will receive.  Look at family photos, watch home videos or holiday movies, listen to seasonal music, or do crafts together. Regardless of what you decide to do together, any time you can spare is a precious gift.

Jesus.

I have a 98-year-old friend who used to be a teacher. She taught penmanship and had the finest penmanship herself, until recently.  In her frailty, her words are mere chicken scratches, so she seldom writes.  I asked her to jot down her idea of CHRISTmas.  She feebly wrote:

To see Jesus in all His glory and majesty.  

Jesus who is willing to forgive and forget.

The One who loves me without spot or blemish. 

The One who cares for me and loves me anyway. 

To see Jesus – my Savior and Lord.

The One who is waiting to receive me into His glorious Kingdom.

Jesus is all the world to me; my hope, my joy, my all. 

 

This last line reminded me of a verse to a hymn.  I thought what a great “new” CHRISTmas hymn this would be to sing around the CHRISTmas tree or the manger scene this year.

Jesus Is All the World to Me

By Will L Thompson, 1904

 

  1. Jesus is all the world to me,
    My life, my joy, my all;
    He is my strength from day to day,
    Without Him I would fall.
    When I am sad, to Him I go,
    No other one can cheer me so;
    When I am sad, He makes me glad,
    He’s my Friend.
  2. Jesus is all the world to me,
    My Friend in trials sore;
    I go to Him for blessings, and
    He gives them o’er and o’er.
    He sends the sunshine and the rain,
    He sends the harvest’s golden grain;
    Sunshine and rain, harvest of grain,
    He’s my Friend.
  3. Jesus is all the world to me,
    And true to Him I’ll be;
    Oh, how could I this Friend deny,
    When He’s so true to me?
    Following Him I know I’m right,
    He watches o’er me day and night;
    Following Him by day and night,
    He’s my Friend.
  4. Jesus is all the world to me,
    I want no better Friend;
    I trust Him now, I’ll trust Him when
    Life’s fleeting days shall end.
    Beautiful life with such a Friend,
    Beautiful life that has no end;
    Eternal life, eternal joy,
    He’s my Friend.