How to Help the Elderly Prepare for a Happy New Year

​​5 Ways to Make it a Happy New Year for Your Senior Loved Ones

As one year draws to an inevitable close and a new year begins to dawn, it always makes us feel a little reflective. Resolutions are made (and often broken). We dedicate ourselves anew to improving our lives and the lives of those around us. But how about our senior loved ones? How are they doing this time of year? Are they ready for a rewarding and happy new year ahead, or are there nagging problems that need to be dealt with? Chances are, there’s always a little of both. Take a moment before the new year to sit down with your aging parents or other elderly loved ones and work with them through these 5 areas and help them get set up for a great new year:

1.Evaluate What Works and What Doesn’t

The first step for any good new year’s plan is to look at what’s working in life and what isn’t. Have a candid conversation with your aging loved ones and find out what makes them happy, and what makes them sad. What frustrates them? What are they afraid of? What are they looking forward to? Asking these questions can help you identify areas of their lives where improvements can be made, or where more of something good might improve their quality of life. Write it all down and then create a plan to deal with those issues they identify for change.

2. Update Paperwork

Those first weeks of the new year are the perfect time to go through all the paperwork to make sure it’s up-to-date and valid. Help your senior loved one go through all the following documents to keep them organized and ready to go:

  • Medical records and contacts
  • Advanced healthcare directives and wills
  • Power of attorney
  • Tax and financial documents
  • Medications lists
  • Emergency contacts
  • Insurance and other benefits documentation

3. Are Home Care Services Filling Their Needs?

This may also be a good time to discuss home care with your loved one. If they are already receiving Northern Virginia home care services, ask them if they’re getting the right ones for what they need. Are they getting the right mix of services, or might they benefit from adding in-home occupational therapy or in-home physical therapy to their list?

If they aren’t currently in need of home care, but might in the future, now would be a good time to discuss what sort of home care services might improve their lives when the time comes that they need extra help. At Home Personal care can help you and your loved one have a productive discussion about their needs, both for now and in the future, so just call us if you have questions: (703) 494-3989.

4. Financial Planning

With tax laws always in flux and constant changes in the economy and in personal and family finances, the new year is an important time to make sure to get all the financial records and documents in order and secure. Consider getting a certified financial planner’s help to make sure your loved one has the best options for protecting their finances and building on them for future needs.

5. Sign Up for Social Activities

One concern we hear from a lot of families with aging loved ones is the level of social isolation they’re suffering. And we know now that social activities actually improve physical and mental health for seniors—and everyone. Talk with your loved ones about what kind of activities they’d like to engage in in the new year. Would they like to learn a new skill or even teach a skill to others? Has their doctor been urging them to take up some type of exercise? There’s probably a class for that. Civic engagement, service projects and new activities abound here in Northern Virginia. Our home care team has a line on many Northern Virginia social activities for seniors and can assist you in helping your senior loved ones sign up for classes, tours and activities they would enjoy. Home care itself can also provide an essential social lifeline if your elderly loved one is stuck at home much of the time. Regardless of the situation, it’s important to stay in contact and nurture your loved one’s social contact!

It may not be possible to cover all of these 5 new year’s preparation aspects in one conversation, and that’s fine. Get the ball rolling one step at a time and help your senior loved one experience a fun, rewarding and healthy new year! For tips and ideas and to ask about our Northern Virginia home care services, just all us at (703) 494-3989 for assistance.