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How to Bring Comfort and Joy to Seniors During the Holidays

By Jessica Deng

It’s December and the holiday season is in full swing! The holiday season is a time of celebration with our family and friends. For many seniors, however, the holiday season can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression, and it can be difficult to stay positive and happy during this time. It’s important to realize seniors can experience loneliness during the holidays for a variety of reasons.For some seniors, it’s because their family and friends don’t live nearby or have moved away. Loneliness is more than an emotional issue; it has real implications for physical and mental health.  Loneliness doesn’t have to be an ongoing problem, consider trying these recommendations for keeping your elderly loved on in positive spirits:

  • Reminisce in a positive way
    • Memories of the holidays could drum up bad feelings during the holiday season for many seniors. But Memories are often some of the best things in our life. Use the past to reminisce about your favorite holiday things and people. The holidays are an ideal time to remember traditions and friends that have come through your life, reflect on things that have changed, and appreciate things that haven’t.
  • Initiate outreach
    • Some older adults go days or months without speaking to anyone at all, especially those who are in poor health or who have limited mobility or transportation options. Nothing beats an in-person visit, but if you can’t see each other around the holidays, talking on the phone – or video chatting if everyone has technology – can make a world of difference. Keep the communication going in the new year by setting 15-30 minutes aside once a week to talk.
  • Take time to listen
    • Make a point to actively listen when your loved one wants to talk, even if the discussion is negative. An honest and empathetic conversation can help them process what is bothering them, whether they are mourning a loss or coming to terms with new challenges in life. The better you can understand where the older adults in your life are coming from emotionally, the better you can adjust and engage them in celebrations.
  • Get in the spirit of holiday traditions
    • Sometimes all you need is a little cheer to get in the spirit of the holidays. If you’re feeling the holiday blues, try reminding yourself about the greater parts of the holiday season, like the food, decorations, and entertainment. Bake cookies and pies, watch your favorite holiday movies, and sing along to your favorite holiday tunes. All these things remind us of our favorite holiday memories and traditions, putting us in the right mindset to celebrate and enjoy the coming holiday.
  • Be inclusive
    • Helping your loved one feel included is the best way to relieve holiday loneliness. Plus, for many seniors, quality time is better than any gift. Here are a few activities to try together:
      • Reminiscing over family photographs and home movies
      • Watching your favorite seasonal shows
      • Enjoy memorable holiday music
      • Create holiday cards, wreaths, and other decorations together

This season, take care and fight the holiday blues by following the recommendations we’ve given. At LifeWorx, our top priority is ensuring our team brings peace of mind and quality of life to our clients. We have a thriving team where our caregivers make a difference and have strong personal connections with our community.

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