Tip #1 Create and send personalized Christmas cards using photo taken of older adult in holiday attire. Be sure to include return address to make it easy for friends and family to send cards in return.
Tip #2 Ask family members to write about favorite memories of older loved one. Make a keepsake booklet.
Tip #3 Decorate a small tree using the older person’s memorabilia and old photos.
Tip #4 Take them on a tour of their old neighborhoods to see holiday lights. If mobility is an issue, ask old friends and neighbors to come out to the car for a quick greeting (thanks to cell phones).
Tip #5 Invite them to write the prayer for a family dinner/ worship service. Provide copies of the prayer to all to read together.
Tip #6 For bedridden elderly, light a tree outside where she can see it from her bed or chair. Use an auto-timer.
Tip #7 Take time during a family celebration to watch old 8mm movies of past Christmases.
Tip #8 Feature grandmother’s dessert dishes or some family heirloom as a way to honor older loved ones.
Tip #9 Ask older adults to share stories of what Christmas was like when they were young. Be respectful. Listen.
Tip #10 Organize a group of senior care residents to go caroling to their neighbors in the care center. Pass out jingle bells for all to enjoy.
Tip #11 Use old family photos to create personalized gift tags.
Tip #12 Organize an All-Senior-Adult Living Nativity scene for your church, senior center or community.
Tip #13 Give a gift of music that older adults at a senior center can enjoy. Hire a harpist or ask a choral ensemble to provide holiday tunes during lunch.
Tip #14 Invite older adults to help prepare for a family celebration in some way: folding napkins, polishing silver, etc.
Tip #15 Rent old holiday TV specials— Andy Williams, Bob Hope, etc.— and set up the DVD player for older loved ones to enjoy.