People feel a lot of pressure to have fun during the holidays. Even though it’s supposed to be a happy time of year, many older people feel more alone and sad at this time. During the holidays, people celebrate and are happy. But it can be hard for a lot of seniors to stay happy and positive seniors during the holidays
It’s important to stay informed and take action to help seniors deal with the loneliness, lack of activity, and depression that can happen during the holidays. Here is a guide to what you need to know about seniors and the difficulties of the holiday season, as well as ways to stay upbeat so the holidays can be a happier, more joyful time.
Why Seniors Experience Holiday Loneliness
Even though getting older can give you wisdom and experience, even the healthiest seniors will lose some things. People we care about get sick and die. Energy and mobility levels often go down, making people feel like they’ve lost their independence and chances. Over time, neighborhoods change, making even people who are healthy enough to stay in their own homes feel alone and cut off from their communities.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says that older people who don’t have many friends are more likely to be depressed. During this time of year, there is a lot of focus on family, friends, and getting together. This can make many older people feel sad. Supporting and paying attention to our loved ones is more important than ever, but we should do it in ways that keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible.
If you think an older parent, friend, or neighbor might be lonely or sad, there are things you can do to make them feel better. You’re probably busy making your own holiday plans and traditions, but it’s important to remember why we celebrate the holidays. By making some things easier, you’ll be able to focus on what’s most important: the people in your life. Use these ideas to make the winter season better for someone you care about.
Difficulties Can Face Seniors During the Holiday Season
There are many reasons why the holidays might not be so happy for seniors.
Limited mobility: Many seniors can’t get around as easily as they used to, especially if they have physical problems. This can make the holidays less fun for seniors who can’t shop, visit, and celebrate like everyone else.
Loneliness and depression: Seniors often feel depressed, anxious, and alone, but the holidays can worsen these feelings. Some seniors feel more lonely during the holidays than at any other time of the year. This could be because they don’t have many social interactions, miss their family and friends, or think about how things used to be.
Memories of the past: Many seniors find it hard to accept that their lives are not the same as they were when they were younger. And memories of the past can hurt even more around the holidays.
Financial Issues: The holidays can put a strain on your finances. With all the gifts, food, and other costs, it can be hard on our wallets. For seniors on a tight budget, the holidays can remind them how hard it is to make ends meet.
Home life: The holidays can be hard for some seniors who no longer live with their families or at home. When the holidays come around, seniors who live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities may feel like they are missing out on comfort and tradition.
Ways to Help Seniors During the Holidays Check out family photos.
Spend some time looking through family photo albums with the senior or older adult in your life. Taking a trip down memory lane is a great way to talk about how you feel and find a link. People with Alzheimer’s or dementia can find comfort and a sense of familiarity in photo albums, which can also help them talk.
Share a Favorite Meal or Recipe
Different people have different holiday traditions, but one thing that everyone does is share their absolute favorite meals or treats with each other. A great way to spend time with an older loved one or an older adult with memory problems is to make a favorite recipe or chocolate cake together. These kinds of activities bring people of different ages together and make seniors feel like they are important.
Put up holiday decorations.
Nothing makes you feel more holiday-like than seeing holiday decorations. As people get older, it can be harder to decorate, especially if they have to unpack holiday decorations, use ladders, or lift things up high. It can be uplifting to help a senior get into the holiday spirit by decorating their home. As older people unpack their special decorations, they are sure to remember the stories that go with them. During the holidays, it’s a great way to connect to listen to those stories, and help put up decorations in a safe way.
Bring people holiday cheer
If a senior used to go caroling or volunteer but can’t do those things anymore, helping them organise a charitable event from the comfort of their own home can bridge the gap and keep them connected to their local community. Some ideas are to write letters to troops overseas, knit for a local hospital or animal shelter, or make homemade holiday cards for first responders.
Be With Each Other Online
If you live far away from a loved one or they live far away from other family members, you could use technology to bring everyone together virtually. Helping others set up video chats or connect through FaceTime can make them feel like they’re not alone when they’re far away.
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