Tips to make enjoyable holidays for older family members

The holidays are a special time for us to re-connect as families, enjoy each other’s company and reflect on many good memories of the past. Many older adults are faced with losses – loss of spouse, friends, traditions, health and independence, which can cause challenges for bringing back the special feelings of the holidays. If you have older family members or friends, you can help them enjoy the holiday season more by following these simple tips:

Share memories – Talk about how things used to be (the good old days), such as their early holiday memories, family life, school experiences, etc. Holidays are especially nostalgic because they are about tradition and repeated experiences. Holidays are an excellent opportunity to relive past experiences and share them with younger generations. Consider using picture albums, family videos and music to stimulate memories and encourage older adults to share their stories and experiences.

Enjoy a classic holiday movie together – Sharing holiday movies can help older adults remember aspects of their lives when they first saw certain movies. There are several Christmas movies that will please grandparents and grandkids alike. For information on the most popular movies, visit

Spend time together – The greatest gift you can give to older adults is your personal time. Consider making time for special activities, such as making favorite holiday goodies, going to a holiday concert, or taking a drive to see the holiday lights.

Give a gift that will delight them – Older family member or friends don’t want more things to clutter up their homes and you don’t want to give them gifts they won’t use. For gift ideas that are creative, thoughtful and practical, view or

Older family members can enjoy happy holiday gatherings by planning ahead and remembering these simple tips.