There are just a few weeks left in the year and we’re quickly approaching the holiday season. For some, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. For others, however, the holidays can be lonely and isolating.
In a world of warm and fuzzy holiday movies, Christmas carols, eggnog, and stockings hanging on the mantle, some seniors may experience feelings of depression and longing for the memories of yesteryear. The loss of loved ones, relationships that are no more, and decreased mobility can all affect a person’s mood at any time, particularly during a season we’ve been programmed to feel should be joyful.
ProHealth Partners reminds you to include your senior loved ones in your holiday plans. You never know how much a simple gesture as inviting them to spend time with family for a holiday party or meal can brighten the season for them.
- Spend time together in the kitchen: Cooking together can be a great bonding opportunity. Let your loved one help as much as possible, whether it’s mixing ingredients, greasing pans, setting the table or taste testing dishes. To make the experience even more meaningful, let them pick one of their favorite recipes.
- Go for a drive to see holiday lights: This is an easy, comfortable way of getting in the holiday spirit. No walking required – just sit back and take in the sights (and sounds, on the more elaborate displays) of the holidays at night. You can go to official light displays or simply drive around the neighborhood. Bonus points if you have hot chocolate during or after the drive!
- Revisit holiday memories: Your loved one may have fond memories of the holidays and of time spent with family. Rather than lament on how things have changed, try recapturing some of that holiday magic by listening to some favorite songs, bringing back old family traditions or looking through photo albums. You can also work on making new holiday memories for them to enjoy, such as playing games, hanging up ornaments or baking cookies.
- Help others by volunteering: To capture the true meaning of the holidays, choose to give back to the community by volunteering together. There are plenty of nonprofit organizations that could use some help during the holidays with food or toy drives, and senior agencies may need help serving meals or with other duties around the office.
Whether your senior loved ones live nearby or far away, make sure to check on them throughout the holiday season. Talk with their friends and neighbors, too. And if they’re living in an assisted environment, make sure you check in with the care staff to get an update on their overall wellness.
Happy holidays to you and yours from the ProHealth Partners team!