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Staving Off Elderly Loneliness During the Holiday Season

Senior loneliness and depression can increase significantly throughout the holidays. At this time of year, aging adults become more aware of their limitations and often have less ability to participate in many of the high-energy activities their loved ones enjoy. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care Summit families trust, suggests several things you can do to ensure the holidays remain a bright, positive, and festive season for your elderly loved one.

Encourage Volunteering

Volunteering is an opportunity for your loved one to get out and socially engage with others, and helping others during the holidays can also give him or her a renewed sense of purpose. If your loved one can no longer drive without assistance, you can also recruit an hourly caregiver in Summit to assist with transportation to and from the volunteer duties.

Schedule an Online Shopping Session

Getting out and battling the crowds at busy department stores is something few seniors are anxious or even able to do. Participating in the practice of gift giving, however, can help your loved one feel connected to friends and family. Schedule an online shopping session with your loved one so the two of you can browse merchandise, sip hot cocoa, and make purchase decisions without having to hit the mall. If budgets are a concern, consider starting a family gift exchange so your loved one only has to get a gift for one person.

Start New Holiday Traditions

Your loved one may not be able to participate in certain traditions your family has maintained in the past, which may make him or her feel left out. Consider starting a new tradition everyone can enjoy. Families can work on holiday-themed puzzles together, read holiday-themed books to each other, or have a special movie night.

Work on Holiday Cards Together

Help your loved one write and send holiday cards. This is an easy and cost-effective strategy for staying in contact with old friends. Moreover, it can help your loved one maintain a sense of normalcy in spite of the changes he or she may be experiencing in both health and abilities. Sending and reading holiday cards is a great way to beat the seasonal blues at any age.

For some seniors, loneliness may persist throughout the year. If you’re concerned about your loved one’s emotional wellbeing, consider hiring a professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers make excellent companions who can provide emotional support as well as assist with a variety of daily tasks. For seniors who need more extensive assistance, we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke care in Summit. To learn more and to schedule a complimentary consultation, call one of our experienced Care Managers today at 908.450.9400.