It’s that time of year. Families gather to spend time together and share a meal. Sometimes its turkey. But around the country, there are different traditions. In New Mexico, it’s green, red or Christmas. Chile peppers are great on everything! In that cornbread stuffing and even the apple pie. Albuquerque is the perfect place for families to reunite and share in the warmth of the holiday season. As the sun sets and casts a pink glow on those Sandia Mountains, it’s time to celebrate all those good things that the year has brought. Retirement gives you the opportunity to sit back and reflect. Here are a few considerations to make this year extra special for seniors and all ages alike.
Traditions. Do you have special family traditions? Perhaps as a child you remember a special dish that was always served, or some particular thing the whole family did to celebrate. Those memories can be shared with your children and grandchildren, even many years later. It’s time to pull out that special recipe. Invite the grandkids over and sip some hot tea or hot chocolate while teaching some cooking skills. Many retirement or senior homes have full private kitchens and are perfect for entertaining. Seniors spending time with the next generation and passing down family traditions creates a family bond and memories that will last a lifetime!
If you are unable to join family celebrations this year, make sure to celebrate with those around you if possible. Neighbors in your retirement community may even become your close friends and support group, especially since health concerns may make traveling unadvisable. Building a community around you is vital for mental health and can make life so much more meaningful. Invite someone over and share in the joy of helping others celebrate! If Covid-19 precautions are limiting your travel or even interactions with neighbors, it’s possible to connect via video chat. Ask someone to help set you up with a simple app on your laptop, iPad or even your phone! You can join family in their homes across the country, share stories and maybe even try a virtual toast. If you or a loved one has the opportunity to be cared for in assisted living, be sure to check and see what the visitation requirements entail for your community. In these times of fluctuating health concerns, the rules for entering an assisted living or nursing home environment may change daily to ensure seniors are protected as much as possible.
Travel. Do you live far away from your family? Perhaps you are still very active and would like to take a trip and visit someone you haven’t seen in a while. It’s important to keep on top of travel advisories and CDC recommendations these days. Most of the time, making sure you’re adequately vaccinated is recommended before making the journey through crowded airports, planes or trains. Even if you travel by private vehicle, your chance of exposure to Covid-19 is possible when stopping for rest, fuel and food. So it’s good to take recommended precautions! Talk to your doctor. Weather and staffing limitations can also effect airlines and changes in flight schedules, so be sure to check in on your travel schedule and see if there are any delays or changes. Most airports have lodging opportunity nearby, so don’t panic if you need to take a later flight or train connection. Seniors will also be happy to know that wheelchair services or additional assistance is always available and provided at the airport. If you have a persistent injury or just can’t imagine walking very far, there is no need to worry.
However you plan to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, make sure to surround yourself with the love of family or friends at home, in your retirement community, or abroad. Take some time to build memories and perhaps even help a neighbor make the day special. Even if you can only visit with others via video chat, you can feel connected and stay part of each other’s lives. It only takes a little effort and the memories will last a life time.