While the holiday season is usually a cheerful time, it can be lonely or isolated for many older adults. Here are 5 tips to help you and your loved ones connect and cherish the holiday season together.
Keep Communication a Priority
If you are unable to visit your loved ones regularly, just picking up the phone or setting up a time to video chat can make a world of difference. Some seniors, especially those in poor health or with mobility issues, go days without speaking to anyone. Set aside time to actively listen and engage with your loved one over the holiday season to make them feel remembered and special—and remind other family members to do the same! After the holiday season, continue to set aside 15-30 minutes weekly to connect with your loved one.
Send a Card
For many seniors, receiving holiday cards and mail is an important tradition. Take a few minutes and ask family and friends to contribute a holiday greeting card, a letter, or even a drawing to send to your loved one. You can also offer to help your older loved one with sending their own holiday cards if they need.
Explore Hobbies or Areas of Interest
The holiday season is the perfect time to rediscover old hobbies, to find a new one, and provides a great socializing opportunity. Even solitary hobbies can be done with others—book clubs, knitting circles, or woodworking are all great examples. Local organizations, places of faith, or community centres are great places to meet like-minded individuals and to find opportunities for group activities. Asking about a loved one’s hobbies may also give you a great gift idea! At Park Street Senior Living, we provide many ways for seniors to gather, learn, and have fun together.
There are resources that your loved one can make use of outside of visits, calls, and time spent on their hobbies. For the internet-savvy senior, there is an online support community provided by Mental Health America, where people can communicate and provide support to one another through discussion groups. For those seniors who prefer talking on the phone, the Friendship Line is available 24/7 at 1-800-971-0016, and is created for adults ages 60+ to offer a listening and compassionate ear as well as outreach services.
Schedule Regular Activities
The most important thing you can do to help the elderly fight loneliness this holiday season is to spend quality time with them—whether it’s listening to holiday music, watching a holiday TV special, making crafts, or looking at family photos. Be intentional to arrange visits and special holiday activities that your loved one will enjoy.
Schedule your private tour today by reaching out to our compassionate team through our Contact Us page. We look forward to meeting you and showing our award-winning assisted living and memory care community.