4 Ways to Make Your Holiday Celebration More Accessible for Disabled Family Members

4 Ways to Make Your Holiday Celebration More Accessible for Disabled Family Members

The holiday season is the one time of year many of us have to connect with family, both close and distant. One important holiday tradition that can not go overlooked is that of community. It is important this holiday season you create a community that is warm and open to everyone, regardless of their ability. 


This time can be difficult for those with disabilities or mobility challenges, as they can feel left out or like a burden on others. It is critical that you anticipate the needs of loved ones who may require additional assistance or accommodations. 

Today we will look at four ways to support and care for disabled family members this holiday season. These tips will help you feel prepared as the holidays approach, and will aid you as you create an accessible environment for everyone you will be celebrating with. 

4 Ways to Make Your Holiday Celebration More Accessible for Disabled Family Members in Western North Carolina

1) Prepare yourself and others.

Caring for a loved one with a disability can be a challenge, and it is easy to get frustrated, confused, and overwhelmed. To help avoid this, one thing you can do is help mentally and emotionally prepare family members and friends for the accommodations that will have to be made.

By setting clear expectations and being prepared to possibly move more slowly, change plans suddenly or make other accommodations, family members will hopefully have more understanding and patience. This tip is especially important for children and others who have less experience interacting with people with disabilities.

Make sure children understand the boundaries associated with the disabled family member and encourage them to treat them just like everyone else! Having these conversations before the holidays begin is most helpful and will give guests enough time to prepare.

2) Make a plan.

It is important that plans are made with ability in mind. Plans should be accessible and easy to understand and participate in, regardless of people’s ability. Most adults with disabilities have a thorough understanding of their own abilities, and they can usually determine if they can or can not participate in a given activity. 

This means that you should include the family member in the decision-making process. Their participation will help ensure plans are truly accessible. One thing to remember when including disabled family members is to not make them feel like a burden or put extra strain on plans. Try to make accessibility solutions seamless and integrate them into existing plans. 

This can be achieved by providing many accessible options so the family member does not feel like plans are being made around them. It is also essential to have a concrete list of alternative or backup plans prepared in case an activity is not suitable for your group.

3) Change Up Traditions 

Many people look forward to the holidays all year long as a time to continue sharing and passing down traditions amongst family. While these traditions are important, and honoring them is a fantastic way to build a connection with your family, it is important to be open to changing traditions as people’s ability levels change. 

So this means that maybe the annual sled race might have to transform into the yearly drawing contest. While no one wants to see a tradition change, the real meaning of the season is who you spend it with, and making sure everyone feels loved and valued. 

There are lots of creative ways to alter existing traditions to accommodate family members while still staying true to the original tradition, like changing a sledding competition into a drawing contest. Also, do not be afraid to start new traditions and take the input of others into mind as you conceptualize them. 

4) Creating an Accessible Space

The last thing to keep in mind as you prepare to host family members with varying ability levels is to make sure the spaces they will use are accessible. It is easy to overlook these issues in spaces you are familiar with, so make sure you collaborate with your loved one about the space prior to the holiday.

Changes you may have to make could include things like assembling safe, portable ramps where steps exist or rearranging furniture to widen pathways and allow wheelchairs to pass through spaces freely. These adjustments go a long way to not only make the space more practical, but also help to welcome your loved one and show that you care about their needs.

Get Ready to Celebrate the Holidays with Loyal Lifts in Asheville, NC

At such an important time of year, the last thing we want is for our loved ones to feel excluded or like an afterthought. You must recognize the stress they are under during this time of year and find unique and creative ways to make them feel seen and heard. 

These tips should help you to anticipate and prioritize the diverse needs of your family and friends who may be enjoying the holidays with you. Remember to practice patience, grace, and humility as you accommodate your loved ones this winter. 

Always remember, if you need help with transportation as you celebrate, rely on your friends at Loyal Lifts Transportation to help your loved one travel this holiday season. Armed with these tips, we know you will enjoy your holiday season this year!