The holidays are the most joyous and friendliest time of the year. However, for many elderly Americans who have experienced the loss of friends and family or remain unable to gather in groups, the holidays can be an increasingly unhappy time of year and leave them feeling alone and depressed.
Here are some helpful tips to prevent isolation and loneliness for seniors and leave your loved ones feeling merry and bright throughout the holiday season.
Send Upbeat Mail
Whether you send a colorful postcard from a recent trip or a long letter reminding them of your love, snail mail is a surefire way to keep seniors feeling loved and social.
The physicality of writing and receiving letters is a great way to make seniors feel connected and can serve as a relief from the constant flow of junk mail and bills around the holidays.
Rather than sending a single annual holiday card, consider taking the time to send weekly or bi-weekly messages, poems, or photos to your loved ones.
Decorate for the Holidays
Holiday decorations can help bring cheer and warmth to the long, cold winter.
Unfortunately for many seniors, classic holiday decorations– such as garlands, wreaths, tree ornaments, and lights– generally require access to dangerous heights.
Offering a decorative hand to elderly family and friends in places that are hard to reach can be a huge help and serve as a bright reminder of your support during the darkest months of the year.
Gifting a new gadget or app can be a great way to keep seniors in touch with loved ones, but teaching them how to use the tech they have can be even more beneficial.
Plan a multi-visit lesson to help them access their text messages, cameras, video chat apps, and social media platforms so they can stay in touch.
If they’re already tech-savvy and comfortable with their devices, consider loaning them a password for one of your streaming subscriptions and schedule a virtual movie night to watch some holiday classics.
Bake with a Friend
As seniors grow older, the precision and attention to detail necessary for baking holiday treats can become too difficult to manage.
Loaning your sharp eyes and warm company to help bake their holiday favorites is a great way to spend quality time and pick up a few baking tips along the way!
Consider baking extra batches to help them deliver plates to their neighbors and spread the cheer even further.
Make a Doctor’s Appointment
Some of the most overlooked causes of senior isolation include the gradual physical ailments that come with aging.
Unchecked hearing loss and failing sight can majorly impede seniors’ socialization, especially in group settings. Other contributors to social isolation include impaired mobility and memory decline.
Offering transportation to a doctor’s visit is a great way to spend quality time with seniors, improve their quality of life and diminish long-term feelings of loneliness.
Visit an Independent Living Community
Our favorite way to curb isolation and loneliness for seniors during the holidays is by inviting them to visit New Haven and join our community!
The holidays are a time we should all strive to brighten the lives of others. If you’re looking for a place to help spread cheer and make friends, we invite you to visit our locations across Texas and experience the New Haven difference.