Spending Time at the Holidays
Families often like to get together at special holidays. Every year Easter and Passover arrive together in the spring, like the daffodils and apple blossoms. It just seems like this is a perfect time to come together and celebrate. Whether it’s about the religious holiday, or the coming spring and summer, it’s a perfect opportunity to bring us together. Seniors that are isolated particularly look forward to these holidays as it may mean more company, family and friends coming to see them and a chance to reminisce.
One of the strongest ties we have as humans is the connection between our sense of smell and memories. When we encounter a special food being made it can evoke memories from past family meals. My Mom was a great cook. One Easter she busily prepared the meal. We could smell the meat roasting and the potatoes on the stove, all bringing together this medley of fantastic aroma in our home. In her haste that day she came home from church and started tossing pans into the oven Suddenly there was a bad odor in the house! Mom had dropped one of her leather gloves down on the counter top and it fell into a pan, which then accompanied one of her special dishes into the oven. We quickly identified the cause and removed her gloves. Great laughter broke out as people looked at the miniaturized glove--perfectly preserved. From then on we could always start a fun conversation, and also let new family members in on the story, by showing them the glove preserved in an old checking account box--hopefully you remember those!
Cooking is great way to start conversations and getting our loved ones involved. How did you make that? What’s your secret? I made Coca Cola ham every year for Easter and finally my niece said she wanted the recipe. Well it’s a southern recipe I told her. Very traditional, take a 2 liter bottle of coca cola, pour the entire bottle over a ham in a pot and simmer it for 2 hours. Then take it out and apply the cloves--put it in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes. That’s it! The Atlanta based Coca Cola Company thanks you. She now makes it for every Easter at her house--tradition!
The Human Touch
While so many things have changed in our lives with the advent of new technologies nothing replaces how it feels to get together in person. The touch of a loved one is not something you can get from Facetime or Facebook. However I realize this is not always possible. It is also not a new issue. This hit home with me when my Mom passed away. My Dad asked my sister and I to go through her personal things for him. My Mom was raised by her Grandmother and we found letters from her asking if they were coming home for Easter. “I love it when you call, but that’s so expensive and it would be so nice to see you”. Each letter included the wish for that personal face to face connection. Nothing has changed, we still need the human interaction.
Going out can be Special too!
We have started a blog called Out and About in the Twin Cities to help families find senior friendly places to go together. Often these places are sports venues, restaurants, or other areas that seniors regularly went to when they were younger. We are trying to take some of the fear about where to go, how to get there, and maneuver with your senior loved one. That being said, we are always interested in places you might be interested in going to with someone with mobility issues. Fill out the form below to submit your ideas for Out and About with your senior loved one!
Until we have visited all the places you want to go with a wheelchair, may we suggest checking out Explore Minnesota or Yelp, to help with your planning. Yelp has a wheelchair friendly restaurants search to try, and as you can see, Explore Minnesota has many places to check out! Wow, there is a category for everything! It is really a much longer list than 10, so I suggest reading the reviews and checking out their website just to make sure.