The holiday season is often a festive time for many, and represents quality time spent with family and friends. It’s a time for sharing, reflection, and appreciation as people are reminded of the importance of family and friends and the true meaning of giving.
For seniors, however, holidays can take on a very different meaning. The holidays can cause depression for seniors who’ve lost loved ones or are having health or financial problems, however, there are several ways friends and family can help and assist seniors through this time of year.
Try these gestures to bring happiness and comfort to seniors during this holiday season:
- 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.
- Enjoy the Christmas lights and displays – Plan a drive around the neighborhood to admire all the Christmas lights and decorations.
- Holidays are made for memories – 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.
- Musical festivities – Music can be an instant mood booster. Try playing an upbeat, happy holiday song or attend a local holiday concert.
- Playing a favorite game together or spending 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.
- 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.
- Get out and about – 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.
- Holiday decorating – Help bring the holiday spirit into your loved ones home by assisting with displaying their holiday decorations and lights.
Consider speaking with your loved one about moving to a senior living retirement community where feelings of depression can be reduced. A senior living retirement community offers a sense of family with great activities to help them live an independent and active lifestyle and not think about their past. Explain to your loved one that their feelings of loneliness and boredom as well as their difficulties with getting around and housekeeping chores will greatly reduce. This should provide your loved one a sense of relief and desire to meeting new people and create a new look on life, not only during the holidays, but throughout the year.