For many families, the holidays mean shopping, travel, office parties and school programs. For just as many seniors, the holidays can be times of loneliness, poor health and danger. It's important that families take the time during the holiday season to make sure that their senior loved ones are well cared for during the holidays.
For widowed seniors, sometimes the holidays can be a sad or lonely experience, especially if their spouse has died within the last few years. The same holds true for seniors who have outlived their own children. Families should be extra sensitive to this loneliness. Talk with your loved one about those most special memories with their family member who has passed. Rather than silently observe or pretend nothing is going on, address these feelings head on, and help them find joy in the memories.
As the weather gets colder, seniors are prone to stay inside more often, and for longer periods of time. This can contribute to a variety of physical and mental health challenges. Take advantage of any sunny day wear the weather is temperate to get outside, even if only for a brief time. The fresh air and Vitamin D from sunlight can be incredibly beneficial for seniors.
As families travel for the holidays to visit all of the "In-laws and outlaws", there may be times when an elderly loved one stays behind. Make sure that someone is checking in on them regularly while those who normally would do so are out of town. This will give everyone peace of mind, and insures there are limited potentials for serious accident or health problems that might go unattended otherwise.
You may want to consider hiring one of the many partner agencies of the OPHC! These agencies are able to supply staff to provide care in your absence! Who knows, your loved one may make a new friend, and find they enjoy the help even after the holidays! Just click at the top of the page where it says "About Us", then click "Membership Directory" for a list of our member agencies in your area!
The holidays are time for joy, family and celebration. Make sure that you are intentional and helpful for those wonderful seniors in your life, making their holidays just as wonderful as yours!
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