Loneliness seems to be the norm for many seniors living at home or in assisted living facilities this year. COVID cases have skyrocketed and seniors are the most vulnerable to respiratory infections aspirated by other chronic diseases.
The holidays can be one of the loneliest times for our senior community. At Christmas time you expect to see families together celebrating traditions, sharing food, opening gifts and making memories. The loneliness can cause depression, lack of eating, physical illness, and sometimes loss of life.
In an extraordinary year that may preclude you from having a Christmas tradition with your loved one, you may consider baking them their favorite holiday treats and delivering it to them personally or sending to their home in the mail. If they live in a facility, consider making a larger quantity for other seniors to feel loved. It warms the heart to being smiles to seniors unable to receive gifts from family.
Have you taken a holiday photo of the family? Send it to your senior with a Christmas card in the mail so they feel important. Does your senior have a pet? What about taking the dog or cat to get a photo with Santa. Many of the pet stores do this for a low fee.
If they can do Facebook Live- invite them into your home while cooking, opening gifts, or together while thy are eating. Time the meals to be at the time they eat to include your loved one.
Send them funny hats or scarves to wear during the Facebook Live. Take a picture and send it to them in a nice frame they can remember the occasion.
Decorate their living space whether aging in place, a nursing home, or even their bedroom with Christmas items that remind them there are people who care. Involvement in your life is key to a successful Christmas season with the people you care about year-round.
Do not forget memorable gifts of music, headphones, warm slippers, and crayons. Creating something on their own helps to build confidence and empowerment. Remember when you saved your child’s creations on the refrigerator door? If you cannot see them in person, snap a photo of their artwork and print on your refrigerator.
Let us guide you in the right direction. We are here to offer information and resources, anytime.