The season has changed. The leaves are changing colors and falling to the ground. Thanksgiving is less than a month away and soon we’ll even be hearing Christmas music everywhere. What a joyful time it truly is during the holidays! It is our due diligence to make sure our seniors are greeted with holiday cheer, too!
For most, the holiday season is a time where memories run rampant, but loneliness can fuel feelings of sadness and longing, especially for our elderly loved ones. Around 29% of people ages 65 years and older live alone. It’s our due diligence to make sure they don’t spend the holidays alone. As a caregiver or family member, it’s important to make your loved one feel included.
How Can We Elevate The Feelings Of Loneliness For Our Aging Loved Ones:
A lot of times, feelings of loneliness stem from isolation. Because of this, it’s important to be aware and mindful of what your family member may be experiencing.
Symptoms can appear as:
- Lack of interest in things that once made them happy
- A drastic change in behavior
- No desire to be in social situations
- A decrease in appetite
The above symptoms also might remind you of depression. If your loved ones are isolated during a time where they should be with family, then sure, it’s not hard to see the correlation.
Leading into the holiday season you should make it a priority to find ways to include the seniors in your life. Take it a step further and let them feel like they are needed.
Letting them play a principal role in planning the festivities can give them an extra sense of purpose. A great way is to ask them to cook a coveted meal that only they can make! It’s their secret sauce, so to say!
If your family is spread out in many places making it hard to get together, consider other options like having a family gathering over skype or facetime. Just seeing your faces can cheer up your aging parents and grandparents. It’s important to remind them that they are still loved and remembered. So, what can you do?
Be present! Just be there. Call your family members. Send them a quick text. Start a family group text to send pictures of grandkids or fun festivities you’re a part of.
Take them out in the community for fresh air. Go check out holiday decorations. This is fun for the entire family!
Offer to help seniors decorate their homes. There’s nothing better than seeing the holiday cheer all around your home!
For seniors living in an assisted living facility, we suggest checking with the events coordinator to see what activities they have during the holidays. Every facility will have one and coordinators often bring in performers or other forms of entertainment for the residents to help bring in the festive feelings of the holidays.
Some communities will host community-wide Christmas parties where friends and family are invited. Encourage them to take an active part in holiday events, and even better, bring them to the festivities yourself if you can!
Many churches and other religious affiliations will also coordinate visiting their senior members and neighboring senior living communities during the holidays. These visits may be a solution especially if the rest of the family lives too far away to visit.
We always end this way and we won’t change now… Williams Loving Care is here for you and for your family members. We can be there for the holidays if you physically cannot. We treat your family just as you would. Give us a call if we can assist you.