The holidays can be an exciting time of year, filled with fun gatherings with friends and family. But many seniors find that the holidays can be challenging. This is especially true when they live alone and without family nearby. Loneliness often sets in when people don’t have meaningful connections. And the holiday season only compounds that loneliness.
Senior Tips: How to Minimize Loneliness
Not only can loneliness take a toll on a person’s emotions, it can also have an impact on mental and physical health. Here are a few tips to help minimize loneliness:
- Prioritize Communication: When older adults are living alone, they often go many days without speaking to other people. Look for ways to increase communication through in-person visits or phone conversations. Reach out throughout the holiday season so your loved one doesn’t feel forgotten.
- Coordinate with Caregivers: Are the person’s caregivers proactive with support and care during the holiday season? Coordinate with the caregivers whether special considerations need to be addressed during this time.
- Encourage Social Activities: Even if the senior can’t leave the house without assistance, it can be helpful for them to participate in social events. Mark the calendar with a few activities such as family gatherings, senior center holiday parties, or church services.
- Hobbies: Your seasonal gift ideas might include items or experiences that can help to fill the person’s time. What are their unique hobbies and interests? Often, these hobbies can be connected with social gatherings. For example, you can buy the person the supplies needed for knitting, and encourage them to attend a local knitting circle.
Remember that the holiday season isn’t the only time of year when seniors feel lonely. It is important that family and friends be communicative and supportive throughout the year. Active involvement can be beneficial for the person’s mental health and also provides the added bonus of reducing their risk of elder abuse.
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.