4 Min Read
How to Spread Holiday Cheer to Your Senior Loved One
The holiday season is synonymous with celebration, joy, and connection. But for many seniors, the holidays bring increased feelings of depression, anxiety, and more. Whether it be because of the grieving of a loved one no longer with us, stress over a to-do list, financial pressure, loneliness, health conditions, or another reason, the holidays can feel less than jolly. Learn how you can spread holiday cheer to your senior loved one this season.
Talk to Your Loved One
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but making time to connect and communicate with loved ones is what the holiday season is all about. Nearly one-third of seniors live alone, putting them at a higher risk of social isolation. Pick up the phone, fire up your video chat, or visit them in person – your company alone can help spread holiday cheer to your senior loved one.
If your loved one seems down when you talk, ask what’s bothering them. Let them know you’re here for them and will help them feel better in any way possible.
Traditions give us a sense of history that helps our families define who we are and where we came from. For many families, holiday traditions are in abundance. But as families age and get busier, some holiday traditions may fall by the wayside, leaving your senior loved one feeling sad.
Think back to past family traditions – what holiday traditions stand out in your mind? Maybe it’s baking cookies, decorating the house together, or watching a classic holiday movie. This year, get your loved one involved and bring your traditions back!
Honor a Loved One
Your senior loved one has likely lost someone they used to spend holidays with – their spouse, siblings, cousins, friends, or a combination. So, the holiday season can stir up feelings of sadness that they’re no longer with us. Paying tribute to them can help your loved one feel better. Try:
- Toasting to your lost loved one at holiday dinner.
- Sharing photos and stories of them.
- Getting an ornament with their photo in it.
- Gifting your loved one a photo album that includes their loved ones’ photos.
- Taking your loved one to visit their loved one’s final resting place.
Engage in Their Favorite Hobbies
When feelings of depression take over, it’s common to place hobbies and activities on the back burner. When visiting, help spread holiday cheer to your senior loved one by taking an interest in their hobbies and participating with them – with a holiday twist!
Do they love crafting? Encourage them to make gifts for friends and family. Do they like cooking? Help them make a holiday feast. Do they enjoy exercising? Take them on a walk around the neighborhood to see houses lined with holiday lights. There are endless ways to get involved!
As we celebrate the holiday season, it’s crucial to remember our senior loved ones who may face difficult emotions during this time. In this season of giving, your presence, thoughtful gestures, and shared moments can spread holiday cheer to your senior loved one, making all the difference in their lives.