For many, the holiday season is full of happiness and excitement as families and friends gather to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company. However, for many seniors, this time of year may increase feelings of loneliness and memories of loved ones lost.
As a caregiver or family member of someone who may be experiencing increased loneliness this time of year, here are a few tips to ensure a happy, healthy holiday season for your senior loved one.
Get Involved With Hobbies
During the holidays, it can be easy to get caught up in your own routines. Taking some time to visit with your senior loved one is a great way to keep him or her busy and combat any feelings of isolation or loneliness. One way to achieve this is to get involved in your loved one’s hobbies, or start one together! This could include:
- Creating a family scrapbook
- Art projects – such as painting or ornament making
- Playing cards or board games
Ask For Help
Sometimes the feelings of loneliness or isolation experienced by seniors this time of year can be due to feeling left out. Asking your senior loved one to help with planning for the holidays, even in small ways, can boost confidence and help him or her feel more connected to friends and family. This can be done in many ways, such as:
- Asking for holiday recipes/assistance cooking
- Involving your loved one in household decorating
- Working together to write and send holiday cards
Make a Quick Phone Call
For those living long distances from their senior loved ones, or with schedules that don’t allow for regular visits, combating loneliness may be as simple as a quick phone call. Spending 10 or 15 minutes on the phone with your senior loved one can help him or her feel involved with holiday planning without needing to be physically present. There are even simple to use, senior-focused video chat options so your loved can can see you without the need for lengthy travel.
It is not uncommon for seniors to experience increased feelings of loneliness during the holiday season. We hope that with these quick tips, you can help your loved one feel happy, healthy and welcomed during this sometimes difficult time of year.