Reducing Loneliness: How to Help Older Adults During the Holidays
While aging can bring wisdom and experience, there are inevitable losses that even the healthiest seniors face. Loved ones and friends fall ill and pass away. Energy and mobility levels often decrease, resulting in feelings of lost independence and opportunities. Neighborhoods change over time, leaving even those well enough to remain in their own homes feeling lonely and disconnected from their communities.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), socially isolated older adults are at higher risk for depression. The focus on family, friends and togetherness during this time of year can actually bring melancholy feelings to the forefront for many elders. It’s more important than ever to be supportive of and attentive to our loved ones, but in ways that keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible.
If you believe that an aging parent, friend or neighbor may be feeling lonely or depressed, there are steps you can take to help lift their spirits. You are probably busy with adapting your own holiday plans and traditions, but we must remind ourselves what the holiday season is truly about. Simplifying some things will allow you to focus on what really matters: the important people in your life. Use these ideas to brighten up a loved one’s winter season.
10 Tips for Reducing Loneliness During the Holidays: Make a point of actively listening when your loved one wants to talk, even if the discussion is negative. An honest and empathetic conversation…
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. “For anyone having to walk the last segments of life with a loved one, read this.” …Delores
Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories – for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol