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How to Brighten the Holidays for the Senior You Love

senior woman sitting in apartment alone and staring out window longingly
Loneliness is often experienced by seniors during the holiday season. There are ways to brighten the season for lonely and depressed seniors.

Combatting Senior Loneliness 

Persistent loneliness can have the same health impact as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness can exacerbate health issues and increase the risk of mortality. It is vital to combat senior isolation and loneliness during the holidays. (Forbes)

Spotting the Signs of Senior Loneliness 

Many seniors don’t recognize their loneliness and aren’t aware of the health problems loneliness can cause. As a result, few will voice their need for support. Look for these signs of loneliness among seniors:

  • Under or oversleeping 
  • Withdrawal from existing relationships 
  • Combativeness or moodiness 
  • Depression 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Anxiety over change or visitors leaving 
  • Lack of interest in normal passions 
  • Decreased attention to self-care 

(SeniorsGuideOnline.com)

 

How to Brighten the Holidays for Lonely Seniors

During the holidays, many seniors feel particularly lonesome. Nostalgia, memories of lost loved ones, and distance from family can all contribute to the holiday blues. Add cheer to seasonal loneliness with strategies like these: 

  • Display holiday cards and greetings 
  • Set up decorations with seniors 
  • Help seniors make video calls to loved ones 
  • Plan holiday event outings 
  • Tune in to festive TV shows and regular radio programs 
  • Sign seniors up for in-house visits by carolers or other holiday volunteers 
  • Encourage seasonal volunteering if seniors are able 

Tips for Fighting Loneliness Year-Round

There are many steps seniors can take to reduce social isolation year-round. Seniors can:

  • Get connected with local senior centers 
  • Attend religious or interest-based groups 
  • Participate in home-visit programs 
  • Schedule regular phone calls with loved ones 
  • Practice letter or card writing, even to pen pals 
  • Use technology to connect with distant loved ones 
  • Mark social events to look forward to on the calendar 
  • Call The Friendship Line at 1-800-971-0016 at any hour to engage in conversation. (NCOA)

Caring for the caregiver, in home careHome Care Tip

Loneliness is often linked to isolation. Isolation can be a threat to health, but also can increase safety risks. Social workers for seniors can arrange for a variety of services to help address seniors’ needs. If you know a senior struggling with loneliness give Caregivers By WholeCare a call. Our senior companions can provide much-needed interaction and caring conversation – 615-422-7549

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