The holidays have always been a time of year when seniors are more susceptible to depression. The loss of loved ones, combined with health or financial problems, weigh heavily on seniors. Couple that with the isolation that COVID-19 imposes and lifting the spirits of a senior loved one becomes even more important for their health and wellbeing this year.
Follow these tips on lifting your seniors spirts during the holiday to show them how much you care.
1. Family gatherings
Family gatherings bring additional risks for a senior. However, “gatherings” are still possible via video calls and social media. Also, gatherings with a limited number of guests, wearing masks, social distancing, handwashing, and not attending if a person has tested positive for the virus or been exposed to it can mitigate the risk. Whatever form the gathering takes, the important thing is that it is a time to share the simple joys of the holiday seasons with each other.
2. Enjoying the Christmas lights and displays
Take your loved one on a tour of neighborhoods to see the Christmas lights. Family members can also take videos of their decorations and of the homes decorated in their neighborhoods and share them over a video. It’s a tradition (with a little modification) that can hearken back to Christmas celebrations of the past.
3. Holidays are made for memories
Call your aging loved one or video chat with them. The holidays are the perfect time to reminisce, sharing stories and fun times together from the past.
4. Music festivities
Music is a fantastic mood booster. And while unfortunately attending a holiday concert is not an option, music can be shared in many ways—via social media, dropping off old records or CDs of your senior’s favorite holiday songs, or just singing to or with them over the phone.
5. Send a holiday card
Nothing beats a good old-fashioned card you pick out just for your loved one, with a handwritten note that you mail to let them know you are thinking about them.
6. Pick up the phone and call
It’s a simple gesture, but sometimes, simple gestures mean the most. Update your loved one on what is happening in your life, share how you are preparing for the holidays, and ask how they are doing.
8. Get out and about
We strongly exercise caution about taking a senior out into public places where people are gathered. However, a change of scenery is refreshing for anyone who has been isolated in their home for months. If you can do it safely, such as an open park then it could provide a nice change of pace. Window Swap offers video and sounds of different scenic window views around the world.
For a change of scenery closer to home, send videos or photos of past holiday celebrations to your seniors. Encourage your loved one to change their mental and emotional scenery by pursuing new hobbies, interests and activities. The key is to mentally or emotionally transport them somewhere else for a time to provide them relief from the isolation they have been enduring.
8. Do an activity together
Games, puzzles, and activities abound that you or other family members can play or participate in with your senior. Other options include learning a craft together or create a family history.
This tradition is definitely worth keeping. Have the senior share what decorating has been done in his or her home. Family members can also share how they have decorated. Swap some decorations to send to each other. Changing the look of an environment can go a long way to improve the mood of the people living in it.
For more information, contact one of our Sales Directors today!