The winter holiday season (and the colder months which accompany it) can increase feelings of sadness tremendously, which aging seniors often experience… More than likely, it’s not the holiday itself that cause these types of emotions but the fact that it tends to bring memories of earlier, and happier times. You know how it goes…Christmas passes in a blur, and then comes the New Year, and all of a sudden, everything is covered in hearts, and flowers and love is in the air!
But what about the aging senior in our lives? Are they alone for the holidays? Has their life partner passed on? Where do our seniors turn when they’re alone, and how can we help them combat holiday (and everyday) loneliness.
We can get involved. An elder person may deny any problems or fear being mentally ill, which can make it that much harder to know if they’re having issues. But we can help spread the love of the season and feel appreciated by including them in general activities such as:
- Making seasonal treats – Including distributing them to neighbors, family and friends.
- Church Activities – If you or the elderly person is a church goer, churches are filled with holiday activities that need volunteers.
- Shopping -Seasonal shopping can be time consuming, but it’s always nice to have a companion.
- Holiday Crafts – So much to be made in such a little time, plus a home brightener!
- Vacation – Make it simple or complicated, visit family or even stay in town and see the sites as if you’ve never been.
- Decorating – Decorating a house can be time consuming, pulling out all the boxes and going through everything. Get the kids involved, make a day of it.
- Holiday Parties – Make the rounds! Including an elderly person can help keep them occupied and social.
- Volunteering – Remember to find something that fits the physical limitations of the elderly person. If they love kids, visit a children’s hospital. Feeding the homeless can be fun and humbling.
- Event Planning – Have a party you need to throw? Help the elderly person feel
productive and useful by making them the party organizer, even if it’s a small get together. Their opinion is important not only to them. Let them delegate tasks to you.
By remembering that life can be busy, but a little goes a long way, we can help keep the ones we love feeling happy, healthy and safe!
Happy Love Day!