Even though the holidays are supposed to be about love and cheer, it can be filled with a sense of loneliness and emptiness. Family members could be far away or could’ve passed on and the holidays can make the absence seem even greater. Remember to keep your senior loved ones close during the holidays and include them as much as you can in your festivities.
How to Keep Your Senior Loved Ones Close This Holiday Season
Use these 7 tips to keep your senior loved ones happy this holiday season:
1. Visit Them Often
Scientific studies have shown the importance of social interaction, not only for mental and emotional health, but also for physical health. Make a regular date, not just during the holidays, but throughout the year, to see your loved ones.
Include them in your life, support them when they need a chat, a hand to hold, or a hug. If don’t live nearby, see if there’s a way to regularly schedule video calls with them, especially during the holidays.
2. Listen to What They Have to Say
Our senior loved ones have a lifetime of experiences. The holidays could be a great time to meet them and write their stories down, so make sure to really listen when you do this. They have a lot to share! Also, you can help them arrange their family photos and memoirs. When they have a story to tell, listen to them – These are important moments!
3. Send Them A Holiday Card
Real paper holiday cards, particularly home-made ones, can be a huge boost for an elderly loved one in a world of electronic communication, especially if they live far away. Get the kids together and make homemade cards and send them caring messages.
4. Get Them Outside
Whether it’s a musical performance, Christmas shopping, a social event or a church service, try to schedule a time when you can help them attend a local holiday event they enjoy. This will help them to maintain the important social relationships that prevent loneliness.
5. Invite Them Over For the Holidays
Taking part in family holiday celebrations is a great way to share the love and overcome the isolation felt by many seniors during the holidays. Prepare them a nice place to sit down to interact with the family and play some games and activities.
6. Get Them To Take Part In Volunteering
One thing we often hear from our seniors at care facilities is how they often feel as though they are no longer needed. No one likes to feel this way, and our seniors have so much tradition, knowledge and experience that they are still able to share and teach others.
Invite them to use their skills to help someone else. Are they good at knitting? Can they teach their field of expertise to a class? How about a food drive help? Loneliness quickly fades with the sense of purpose that community service will offer.
7. Go To Church
If travel or other health issues make it difficult for your senior loved one to visit their place of worship as often as they want, see if there are ways to help them attend or explore home visits with their spiritual leaders and other congregation members.
Reno Valley Assisted Living and Retirement Community
Reno Valley is an assisted living and retirement community that makes living independently, while at the same time feeling safe and secure, a reality. We strive to provide the best quality of life for all residents including those suffering from loneliness and depression.
We offer a comprehensive activity program that includes both physical and social activities to encourage emotional well-being. Our staff is trained to assist those with depression. If you or a loved one are considering assisted living, contact Reno Valley today to learn more about our services or tour our community.