The holidays are a time of joy for many, but for senior adults, it can be a time of loneliness. Senior adults who have lost spouses, siblings or other loved ones may find the holidays bring up memories of what they’ve lost. This is especially true for senior adults who live alone. That’s why we have put together this list of how to help seniors enjoy the holidays.
Loneliness and isolation lead to feelings of despair and can lead to depression. A lack of social interaction and friendship makes those feelings more prevalent. That’s why, at Baldwin House Senior Living in Michigan, we schedule outings and activities to keep our residents entertained and engaged.
There are many reasons older adults experience feelings of sorrow during the holidays, and they include:
- Memories of past holidays, especially if they no longer celebrate the holidays in the same way.
- Being separated from loved ones.
- Feeling they are missing out, especially if they see friends and family on social media hosting or attending holiday gatherings that they no longer attend.
How To Help Seniors Enjoy The Holidays
This list of simple ways to help your loved ones get more joy out of the holiday season just might make the holidays happier for you and your loved ones.
- Include them in as much holiday planning as they’d like to be involved in. Even an older family member with Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related issues can help frost cookies or hang ornaments.
- Plan events early. Set up a schedule with the aging adult in your life and plan to bring them to family dinners or to attend events with them. Ask what they’d like to do this holiday season. Do they want to go to church? Visit friends? Volunteer at their favorite charity?
- If you’re an older adult who lives alone, look for social and community gatherings you could attend this holiday season. Many community centers or churches open their doors to new members, especially around the holidays.
- Find ways to stay connected with your aging loved one. Invest in an easy-to-use electronic device where you can have video chats. Plan phone calls on a regular basis.
- If your loved one is living in a senior community, help them decorate their room.
- Ask whether you can plan an afternoon in the senior living community your loved one is in and watch a favorite holiday-themed movie.
- Plan an afternoon of arts and crafts with your loved one. If they have grandchildren who are local, invite them to the senior living community to work with Grandma or Grandpa on holiday-themed crafts.
- Take a drive and look at the holiday lights and brightly decorated homes.
The best way to determine how to help your aging loved one enjoy the holidays is to ask them what they want to do.
Visit a Baldwin House Senior Living community near you and ask about our active adult living options and the activities we plan for our residents. Baldwin House Senior Living is built upon the strong foundation of guiding families and empowering seniors.
Baldwin House combines care with compassion and dignity. We offer families peace of mind and give seniors who call Baldwin House home the freedom to live their very best lives. Call us today to schedule a visit. We’d love to meet you or your loved one!