Isolation and loneliness among seniors can set the stage for their becoming vulnerable to financial scams. During the holidays, the tendency to become moody or depressed are often compounded. This further increases the chances of seniors falling prey to unscrupulous holiday scammers.
All of us can help contribute to the mental and emotional health of seniors during the holidays. Whether you are related to, or simply a friend of, a vulnerable senior, here are some holiday tips you can use throughout this holiday season.
Activities that can help seniors stay safer mentally and emotionally are:
- Having conversations about their traditions and memories
- Making healthy versions of their favorite holiday dishes
- Listening to favorite holiday music and television specials
- Encouraging social activity, even if online
- Gathering for such holiday activities as decorating, crafting, and selecting or making gifts
- Inviting them to listen to or attend holiday events that reflect their faith and values
Other proactive measures you can take are to:
- Recognize that elders may need a break from all the commotion and loud noise at gatherings. Keep an eye out, and escort them to a quiet room where they can relax or have one-on-one time with someone.
- De-clutter. For both physical and mental health, declutter old, outdated, and unnecessary items. This not only removes trip hazards, it also creates a more calming space.
- Pour on the light. In winter months, people of all ages can suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This depressive illness is provoked by reductions in sunlight. Find ways to get seniors outdoors and enjoy more light and fresh air.
- Monitor medication and alcohol consumption. It can be easy for seniors to forget to take their medication, as well as imbibe too much without realizing it.
- Spend quality time together. Seniors are a treasure trove of experiences and history.
If “idleness is the devil’s playground,” then loneliness and isolation during the holidays are a scammer’s dream. You have the power to protect the vulnerable seniors in your life this holiday season by adapting some of these tips. It can result in a much happier holiday for everyone.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.