Helping Our Senior Loved Ones Deal with Holiday Loneliness…
The holidays are a time for family and friends to be together to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company.
For many seniors, the holiday season are a time of reflection and can be full of mixed emotions as they reminisce about the celebrations, they were part of and those loved ones they have lost.
Even if your Senior loved one lives independently in their own home or amongst others in an assisted living facility, they may be conflicted with feelings of loneliness, especially during the holiday season.
To assist your Senior loved ones in remaining strong, lively and engaged, and to avoid isolation and lonliness all year long, consider using the CHEERs plan:
- Check on your loved ones frequently – not by just a phone call but visit your loved one in their home. If they live independently and alone in their home, view if they an inventory of nutritious food on hand, medications are being taken and up to date, and their ADLs (Activities of Daily Living: eating, bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting and mobility). Also, their safety issues…by checking on hazards and barriers that can create a fall. If your senior loved one truly needs assistance, you are more likely to take note by the time well spent at their home.
- Help your senior loved ones stay engaged – as those that live independently and alone in their own home tend to experience depression. Invite them to your own family functions, and festivities at churches, civic associations and senior citizen centers which ultimately assists them being engaged in activities and conversations with other people. It is at this time to listen to them and their acceptances and denials of wanting to attend function and where to assist them with transportation if needed and if you can properly provide. If your senior loved one lives in an assisted living facility, join in on their holiday activities, offer to assist in decorating their room / apartment with holiday flare….and without forgetting….bring their grandchildren and great-grandchildren on a visit. If you are giving gifts to your senior loved one, nothing is sweeter than a hand-written note and photo album filled with memories captured from the past, those of most recent and pages left blank to be filled in for the future.
- Empower them to continue to live independently –where you assist your senior loved one to live, function and prosper safely on their own. There are many devices and services that can be set up for your senior loved one such as a medical alarms, mobility devices and food delivery services that will assist them remaining independent, stay healthy and safely. And…it’s at this time you might have a discussion with regards to the future, where moving to an assisted living facility is a viable option.
- Enjoy your precious time together – encourage group activities and functions that all of you can participate in, whether it be small or large….do remember, it is ‘the present’ that you are making new memories for the future.
- Reminisce with your loved ones – break out old photo albums, family videos or other family memorabilia and keepsakes that bring the past back to the present. Listen to your senior loved ones reminisce about those loved that that were lost and engage them to speak of those memories with you.
Linda M. McKenna
Owner & Senior Care Advocate
8630 East County Road 466, Suite A
The Villages, FL 32162
6035 SW 54th Street, Suite 200
Ocala, FL 34474
547 West Fort Island Trail, Suite H
Crystal River, FL 34429