The holidays can be a wonderful time to share the joys of friends and family. The food, activities, and time spent with loved ones bring warmth to the chilly winter months. It can be a time for making new memories, and for seniors, it can be a time for recalling cherished memories of holidays past.

The holidays serve as a reminder to extend a greeting to those whom you do not speak to or see often. Consider reaching out to friends, neighbors, and relatives to include them in your holiday plans. You can make sure the seniors in your life are involved by having them assist in preparing meals or setting up decorations, and of course making sure they take part in the festivities too.

The holidays can also provoke strong memories in older adults. Memory recollection can be an important part of aging, and even seniors with memory impairments are often able to share stories and recollections of the past. Stories of times past can be enriching and entertaining for everyone, especially young children curious to know what things were like for their parents or grandparents when they were young. Old photos, family albums, and even songs or movies from times past can be a strong stimulant to encourage memory recollection.

Making new memories is important, too. Activities as simple as driving around to look at holiday lights or decorations can be a memorable experience. Window shopping at the mall or taking a stroll down a festively decorated street can be enjoyable, and the activities you enjoy now may become the traditions or memories that will be relived in the years to come.

Possibly the most important aspect of the holidays is being together with friends and family. More than gifts or other sentiments, what many seniors often want most for the holidays is simply to spend time with their friends and family.

Council on Aging Silicon Valley wishes you and your family a joyous holiday season. If you have any questions on services available for seniors and caregivers in Santa Clara County, please call our Information & Assistance specialists at (408) 350-3200, option 1.