The holidays are a time for celebration and joy, a time filled with gatherings and traditions shared with family and friends. But amidst all the hustle and bustle, the holidays can be a difficult time for the elderly who often feel very alone. Many of the friends and loved ones they used to celebrate the holidays with may have passed away or moved. Poor health and bad weather conditions may limit their ability to participate in social events, which furthers their sense of isolation. At this time of year the elderly are at a higher risk of depression due to loneliness. Addressing the challenges seniors face during the holidays is an important part of eldercare in Montreal.
Reduce Holiday Loneliness And Increase Holiday Cheer For Seniors
- Decorate. It doesn’t take much, just a few little touches such as some favorite family ornaments, a festive table cloth or throw pillow, or a grandchild’s artwork can help get an elderly person into the holiday spirit.
- Music can have a profound effect on our mood. Listening to cheerful holiday songs can be uplifting as well as bring back happy memories of past holidays.
- Bake. Food is a huge part of most families’ holiday traditions and makes a wonderful gift for an elderly person who may not get to enjoy those special homemade treats very often.
- Spread them out. When family members visit individually or in small groups it is less overwhelming for seniors and gives them more visits to look forward to.
- Listen patiently. Let them share their stories and show them that you are interested, even if you may have already heard that story a time or two.
- FaceTime. If you can’t be there in person, FaceTime can help seniors feel connected to their loved ones. Make arrangements with family or friends in town to borrow an iPad and set up a time for a “visit”.
- Phone calls are also a good way to send holiday wishes, but if poor hearing makes phone calls difficult, cards and care packages let them know that you are thinking of them.
- Community events. Find out if there are any social events planned in their area they might like to attend (i.e. at their place of worship, local community center)
- Take a drive. A drive after dark to see the neighborhood decorations while listening to holiday music on the radio can be a fun outing for a senior whose mobility is limited.
During the holiday season there seems to be an endless list of things to do and finding time to get them all done seems impossible. Finding the time for a visit is especially hard during the holidays, but it really is the best gift you can give an elderly person.