The holidays can be a wonderful time of year for gathering with family and friends, but can also bring about challenges for some of us, especially elders.
The holiday season can cause depression for seniors who’ve lost loved ones or are having health or financial problems, or who feel isolated because winter weather makes it difficult for them to get out.
Fortunately, there are several ways friends and family can help and assist seniors and lift their spirits through this time of year:
- Invite seniors to a family gathering –This will give seniors the opportunity to get out and be amongst loved ones and lets them be a part of the simple joys of the holiday season together. Arrange for transportation ahead of time by offering to pick them up.
- Plan a drive around the neighborhood to admire all the Christmas lights and decorations.
- The holidays are the perfect time to reminisce with seniors and to share stories and fun times together from the past about certain loved ones that may not be around anymore.
- Music can be an instant mood booster. Suggest playing upbeat, happy holiday music or attending a local holiday concert with elderly family members or friends.
- Play a favorite game together or spend time cooking a special meal
- Send a holiday card – Let your loved one know that you are thinking about them by writing a letter and sending an old fashioned card. Be sure to include a hand-written message and signature.
- Pick up the phone and call – Whether you live near or far, the simple gesture of picking up the phone and calling your loved one to say hello can brighten their day. They will feel appreciated, loved and will remind them that someone is thinking of them.
- Offer a trip to the coffee shop, lunch at their favorite restaurant, or a trip to the bookstore or movie theater. A change in scenery can be a pleasant change and can break up what can sometimes be a very quiet and lonely day.
- Help bring the holiday spirit into your loved ones home by assisting with displaying their holiday decorations and lights.