“To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.” - Ecclesiastes 3:1

How to Make the Holidays Special When Someone You Love is Ill

Hospice in Springfield

During the holiday season, there are a lot of mixed emotions. If someone you love is ill, it is important to be in tune with what they want, but also still make memories and cherish the time together. You want to be sensitive to their needs while not focusing on the negative. 

There are several ways to make memories without spending a lot of money or exerting a ton of energy. Your time is the best gift to give someone who is ill this holiday season.

It can be scary to try and navigate illness and not know what lies ahead. Your presence can provide peace and joy to them, even just for a moment. In addition, there is such joy in giving to people, and being there for the ones we love no matter what stage of life they are in. 

In this blog post, we will share a few ways that you can make lasting memories with your loved ones during this season.

Ask Them to Tell Stories

It is so interesting to hear stories about how life was years ago. If your loved one is elderly, chances are they have many stories to tell. Stories of the past are how legacies are carried on. 

Many times, it takes both people to that place and time in their life. It can be such a special bonding time for you and your loved one. Don’t worry about having the right thing to say. Many times the best thing you can do is listen. 

People just want to be heard. They want to talk about something other than just medication, treatment, etc. 

Allowing your loved ones to talk about themselves and their life is not only therapeutic for them but also can be fascinating for you. In our fast-paced world, sometimes it’s great to just focus on someone else, and learn from the people in your life.

Do a Simple Craft

Crafts are so fun, and they don’t have to be complicated. It can be something as simple as having them write their signature and getting that engraved on a necklace, outlining a foot and making it into a Christmas tree, or even knitting a sweater. 

There are so many ways you can do fun crafts that will cause you to think of them every time you see them. 

Christmas time is a time full of decorations, so having your loved one decorate an ornament can be so special. Every year when you put that ornament on the tree, it will remind you of them. 

Whatever the craft is, it will always represent a special moment when you were able to connect with your loved one.

Watch Their Favorite Show

We all have a favorite show that makes us laugh, cry, and causes us to bond with those who watch it with us. Instead of forcing your tv selections on a loved one, ask them what they want to watch. 

Make it a special time by gifting them a new blanket and serving a hot beverage. This is a cozy way to make memories with a special person in your life. 

Just being there and taking an interest in what they like is a huge deal. And, it will be a time you won’t forget.

Play Games

Games are a great way to pass the time. Many games you can even play in bed. Card games are a fun way to strategize and allow those competitive tendencies to come out. This can be a great way to build the esteem of someone who has to lay in bed a lot. 

It is crucial to not underestimate someone who is ill. Many times they are weak, but they long for something meaningful and fun. Playing games is a great way to provide that.

Listen to Music

Many times, even people with Alzheimer’s will remember the lyrics of their favorite song, or the chords to their favorite tune. 

Even if your loved one can’t talk, playing their favorite music can bring a smile to their face. That smile will be something you cherish forever. Music is something that can cause great peace during a difficult time. 

Look Through Photo Albums

If you have family photo albums, bring them to wherever your loved one is living. Go over each photo and allow them to talk about what they experienced in those moments that are frozen in time. 

You may learn new things, get a good laugh, and be inspired. You could also ask them to help you choose photos to create a family scrapbook. That helps them have a sense of purpose, and you can have them participate in something that will be around for generations.

Important Things To Remember

Making lasting memories doesn’t have to be complex or overly emotional. It is important to not let yourself avoid making memories because you don’t want to put them out, or you don’t want to get emotional. 

Loving someone is about not looking away even when it is hard. Because, when they are gone or even when things get better, you don’t want to regret your relationship with your loved one during the hard times. 

In addition, you don’t want every memory to be serious or sad. It is important to be in the moment, and cherish them even when they are sick. Life isn’t guaranteed, but memories are what stick with us.

If you have a loved one this holiday season that is ill, take time to enjoy them and give them moments of joy and peace. Pray for them, love them, and be there for them. With a little planning and intentionality, this holiday season can still be one filled with joy and laughter!

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Seasons Hospice is an independent community health care provider, not a large for-profit organization. We would not be able to offer our hospice services if we did not have the support of passionate community members who understand the importance of cost-free hospice care. To simplify the hospice process for patients and families, we rely on the generosity of our donors.