The holiday season is a chance to spend time with family and friends. While it can be very exciting and fun, it can also be an isolating time for many people. Seniors with mobility issues, dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other health conditions may have difficulty with long trips, which can make it hard to get everyone together. It’s important to recognize the signs of holiday depression in your loved one so you can reach out and make sure they feel appreciated.
Show Your Loved Ones You Care
The holidays are a time to reconnect with our loved ones and enjoy some quality time together. If you suspect that your loved one might feel left out of things, there are many ways to make sure they are included in your holiday celebrations.
Create new traditions
Tradition plays a big role in our holiday celebrations. Every family has their own special ways to celebrate and many of them have been going on for generations. However, as families change and grow, it’s normal for these traditions to change along with them. Find new ways to spend time together; you could go over and put up festive decorations for them, bake some holiday treats together, or just drop by to watch a favourite movie. Find ways to include the whole family throughout the season, so you don’t put so much focus on just one day.
If you usually all travel to the same place to celebrate, you may want to adjust your plans this year to accommodate an aging relative that is unable to travel far. Perhaps you could bring the celebration to them, with everyone travelling to visit them at home. Or you could shift your celebrations to earlier in the day, to give your loved one some time to rest.
Share memories together
For many seniors, the holidays are a difficult time because they bring up memories of happier times. If you think they might be sad or lonely, talk to them about it. When you share old stories from holidays past, it can bring you closer together and make them feel less lonely. Make time to look at old photos and watch home movies together and focus on the happy memories.
Make alternate plans
It might not be possible for you to spend time with your loved one in person this year. If this is the case, make sure they have a place to celebrate. Check with friends or family members who live close by to see if they have time to visit them. If your loved one lives in a senior’s community, check to see what kind of special events they have planned and encourage your loved one to get involved.