featured image showing A portrait of a senior woman in wheelchair at home at Christmas time

How Seniors Can Prepare for the 2020 Holiday Season Amidst COVID-19 Restrictions

Fall is in full swing, and people are heading back indoors for the winter. It is usually during this transition that families start making plans for the holiday season. While it is safe to say Christmas will not be canceled, we can say with certainty that this holiday season will be unlike all the rest.

Navigating the holidays and the pandemic is not going to be easy for anyone which is why we at Sierra Seniors have decided to outline a few steps that seniors and their families can take to prepare for the upcoming holiday season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Manage Expectations

By far, the most important thing we can all do this year is adjust our expectations. Visions of friends and loved ones gathered around a Thanksgiving feast and grandparents waking up on Christmas morning to a house full of children and grandchildren are probably not going to happen. If they do, it will inevitably feel different. Managing this expectation now is going to be the best thing for all of us.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are arguably the two most popular holidays of the year, especially when it comes to traveling. But this year, understand that many people, including your closest family members, may not feel comfortable traveling.  Please, do not take it personally. It is best to respect their wishes. You may, however, attempt to allay their fears by suggesting the following guidelines.

Guidelines to Meet Safely

COVID is not on anyone’s Christmas list so if you do happen to host or attend a gathering, the CDC recommends taking the following actions to protect yourself and others from getting the virus.

  • Consider self-isolating before traveling or having guests. This will reduce the risk of unknowingly catching something and spreading it.
  • Keep the gathering small. Do not invite more than 10 people.
  • Remember to wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Wash your hands and commonly touched surfaces regularly.
  • Limit the number of people who handle food and other commonly touched items.
  • Consider hosting the event outdoors.
  • Have people bring their own food and drinks and keep your food separate from others.

Make sure to stick to these guidelines. Anyone who doesn’t take these guidelines seriously shouldn’t be invited, especially if there are high-risk individuals attending.

For a more detailed list, check out the CDC’s list of guidelines.

Alternative Solutions

If you decide that traveling or hosting an event is not worth the risk, consider alternative solutions.

Zoom and Skype are two very popular services that are being used instead of meeting face-to-face. Nothing can replace face-to-face social interaction, but in these difficult times, we all need to adjust. If you cannot see your loved ones in person, at the very least you can talk to them over video chat.

The holiday season is coming up, but there is still an ongoing pandemic. It is important to follow certain guidelines to limit the spread of the coronavirus. This is especially true if there are seniors in your social group or family. It’s better to make the Holidays safe for all. After all, Christmas morning cinnamon rolls and coffee over Zoom doesn’t sound all that bad.

Sierra Senior Services is the local Meals on Wheels provider covering the Greater Truckee/Lake Tahoe region. We provide home-delivered meals, and can make referrals for additional support services that empower seniors to continue living independently. Sierra Senior Services is a California 501-(c)-3 Non-profit Corporation · Tax ID 68-0484075 Contribute today!