The holiday season should be merry and bright. That’s easy for us to say, but many elders might feel isolated and sad this time of year. As caregivers, we tend to put pressure on ourselves to make sure our patients enjoy themselves during this time. Family members and caregivers alike want to make sure our senior friends enjoy their holiday plans this year.
Why Seniors Experience Holiday Loneliness
We hear all the time that wisdom comes with age. But also great grief comes with age as seniors are likely to have lost loved ones and quite possibly could easily become depressed. Energy and mobility levels often decrease, resulting in feelings of lost independence and opportunities. Neighborhoods change over time, leaving even those well enough to remain in their own homes feeling lonely and disconnected from their communities.
Redirecting your seniors’ thoughts to focus on other things is an important part of making sure they don’t experience loneliness. Focusing on family, friends and togetherness during the holidays. Being attentive to our loved ones is incredibly important right now, and we are here to give you tips for reducing that lonely feeling around the holidays!
Simplifying some things will allow you to focus on what really matters: the important people in your life. Use these ideas to brighten up a loved one’s winter season.
Reduce Loneliness During the Holidays With These Tips:
- We know it’s more difficult to listen when there is so much going on around us, but make it a point to actively listen when your loved one wants to talk. If your loved one is down, listening intently might reveal why they are feeling down and reveal other ways to cheer them up.
- Send a Christmas card! It’s so simple but the little act of receiving a card is worth millions to our aging friends! If possible, ask family members and friends to contribute cards, photographs, or drawings to help keep the seasonal mail more upbeat. This also creates a connection with friends and family members.
- Check with your loved one’s religious organization to see if they can offer extra social and/or spiritual support. Many houses of worship can arrange for a congregant or leader to visit a senior in need, either in person or virtually. Just having someone to talk to can go a long way toward relieving depression.
- Help them decorate! Adding festive touches to their home definitely brings on the holiday cheer! Ensure that these items do not present a safety hazard and try to decorate in stages to prolong the fun and give them something to look forward to.
- Who doesn’t love cooking with their loved ones?! Get together and help cook a meal or treats with your loved ones!
- The most important thing you can do with a senior to make them feel loved and included this season is to simply spend time with them in a safe way. Look at family photos, watch home videos or holiday movies, listen to seasonal music, or do crafts together. For some, these traditions may need to take place outside (weather permitting), via FaceTime or Zoom. Regardless of what you decide to do together, any time you can spare is a precious gift.
If you don’t know how to manage any of the above tasks due to not living near your senior loved one, don’t worry, we can help! Knowing how to manage seniors and the holidays can be tricky, but hopefully, our tips will help you make your senior’s holiday season this year a memorable one! If you need assistance, we will gladly step in and fill a gap for you. Do what you can to help your aging loved one get into the holiday spirit. If you put too much on your plate, it is likely that neither you nor your loved ones will enjoy the festivities nearly as much. Get creative, stay safe, and remember that your best efforts are good enough. Remember that we can help you with these activities! Comforting and spending time with loved ones is our passion. We treat your loved ones like our own.