Spending Time with Seniors Makes Their Holidays Happy
Holidays are a time for celebrations and for visiting family and friends. But sometimes the holiday season can also be a source of the blues for seniors, who may have lost loved ones or are experiencing health problems.
So, what is the best way to help seniors beat the holiday blues?
First, be sure to know the signs of depression. In addition to thoughts or discussion of suicide, they may include: changes in appetite and weight, sleeping much more than normal, lasting sadness, crying more often, feeling worthless, thinking more slowly, and generally losing interest. If you see any of these signs, encourage the person to talk with a healthcare provider…and also to talk with you.
In fact, spending more time with seniors is one of the best things you can do for them at the holidays. Here are 8 simple steps you can take to make the time you spend together enriching and help the seniors you love deal with the holiday blues:
1. Treat them to a night out.
Go out to dinner, a movie, or the theater or ballet. Or simply take a ride around the neighborhood to see menorahs and other holiday decorations. Or invite senior loved ones to your home for a party. Help arrange their transportation, if needed. If possible, even involve them in the party planning.
2. Bake sweet treats or make latkes together
Then share them with family, friends, and neighbors.
3. Shop together – out and about, or online
During this time of year, most stores have fun and festive decorations, so your outing can focus on window-shopping, if more appropriate.
4. Make seasonal crafts
Make holiday cards, knit hats or mittens, or flower arrangements. Time flies when you’re creating together.
5. Decorate the house
Break out the nosh and hot chocolate, and spend a fun-filled afternoon or evening decorating.
6. Wrap gifts together
What could be a chore can actually be quality time if you have fun wrapping gifts together.
Helping others can be really uplifting. Together with your senior, contact local schools, hospitals, and charitable organizations to learn about volunteer opportunities.
Just sit and talk…and truly listen. Encourage the seniors you love to express their feelings. It can help both you and your loved ones understand why they feel the way they do. And then you both can take steps together to help them feel better.
The holidays are a time to celebrate. You can help the seniors in your life kick the blues and feel the magic of the season by spending more time with them enjoying fun, simple activities.
An added benefit of spending time with seniors to help make their holidays happy: It’s infectious and bound to make your holidays happy too!