Preparing Your Loved One For A Family Gathering

Preparing your aging loved one for holiday gatherings will ensure a successful event

Preparation is Key

Preparing your aging loved one for a family gathering is a great way to help them get the most out of treasured time with family. As you are planning a family gathering, here are several steps you can take to ensure your loved one is prepared.

Discuss Ahead of Time

Discussing the details of the family gathering ahead of time may help your loved one to enjoy it more. Provide your loved one with all the necessary information about the gathering. Inform them of things like the date, time, location, occasion, and who will be attending. This will help them plan and prepare for the event and will give them something to look forward to.

Plan for Physical Needs

It is vital to consider the physical needs of your loved one when planning a gathering. If they have mobility challenges, make sure the gathering spot is accessible for them. If they require special accommodations, such as a wheelchair or special transportation, make sure these are arranged in advance. Prepare for the outing with a “go-Bag” containing medications, other medical supplies, personal items such as adult diapers, and any other necessary items to keep your loved one comfortable. Other things to consider are dietary restrictions and a quiet spot for them to escape to for a bit if they are feeling overwhelmed.

Related: Involving Aging Loved Ones During the Holidays

Plan for Assistance Needed

Remember to consider what your loved one may need assistance with. This may involve helping them with tasks such as eating, drinking, drinking, and toileting. Or, perhaps, they may need assistance engaging in activities or conversations at the gathering. Planning ahead for assisting with these things will allow your loved one to feel confident and engaged.

Plan for Unexpected Challenges

Be prepared for any potential challenges that may arise during the gathering. This is especially important if your loved one has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. It is a good idea to communicate with those who will attend the gathering, some details about what to expect from your loved one and their condition. You should also be prepared for managing the behavior of your loved one or of other family members or addressing any concerns or questions they might have.

Related: Prepare Family For Holiday Visits With Aging Loved Ones

The key to preparing your aging loved one for a family gathering is to provide them with the information, support, and assistance they need to feel comfortable and enjoy the event. With the right preparation, your loved one can participate fully in the gathering and spend quality time building treasured memories with their family.


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Liz Craven
Author: Liz Craven

Liz Craven, along with her husband Wes, owns Pro-Ad Media, publisher of Sage Aging ElderCare Guide, serving the local community for over 28 years. Liz lives in Lakeland and is very active in the local community, specifically in the area of aging. Liz serves on a number of local boards and committees including the Lakeland Vision and Age Friendly Lakeland.