Preventing Loneliness for Seniors During the Holidays
For most, the holidays are filled with happiness and joy, but sometimes, seniors can experience loneliness during this time of year. Holiday stress and memories of the past can trigger feelings of sadness or loneliness when you least expect it.
According to The Senior List, Age UK commissioned a study that showed Christmastime often brings back memories of loved ones who are no longer with us, and that many of those surveyed thought they’d be spending the holidays alone or would “barely see their family.” This isn’t a feeling that anyone wants to experience, and especially during such a special time of year.
It’s important that caretakers and loved ones pay close attention to seniors this holiday season and take proactive steps to prevent loneliness.
- Be There. If your loved one is in a senior living community, make a concerted effort to visit. When you’re there, talk AND listen. It’s important to actually BE PRESENT while you’re there. If you can’t be there in person, utilize technology, such as a live video chat or even send a video file. You can even take things back in time and write a handwritten letter. Little gestures can go a long way.
- Include Them in Your Plans. It’s important for the seniors in your life to know they’re loved and included, so be sure that they’re a part of holiday celebrations, no matter how big or small. Include them in family photos and holiday cards, and even shopping (who doesn’t love a little shopping trip?).
- Offer to Help Organize Events or Socials. Although Starling at Nocatee offers a plethora of regular and seasonal social activities for our residents to participate in, seniors at other communities or living alone might not have the same experiences. Giving even just a little bit of your time can help make a senior feel special during the holidays.
- Recognize the Validity of Their Feelings. If you’ve been able to get your loved one to open up, try your hardest to not react negatively to the emotions or feelings they’ve just expressed. It can be hard for seniors to open up to a younger person and ask for help. Listen and be supportive.
- Spruce the Place Up. There’s something special about creating a festive space with holiday decorations that puts a smile on your face. Not only does this show you care, but it can do wonders for improving seniors’ moods throughout the season.
- Encourage Friendships. For those living in senior living communities like Starling at Nocatee, there is potential for new friendships just steps away! Socialization does wonders for improving mood.
What will you do this holiday season to make your loved ones feel cherished and important?
If you’re ready learn more about the personalized lifestyles and superior experiences offered only at Starling at Nocatee, please give us a call at 904.596.0880, or stop by Starling at Nocatee at 999 Crosswater Pkwy., Ponte Vedra, FL 32081.