Ways to Reduce Loneliness For Seniors During the Holidays
Updated: Dec 17, 2019
This time of year, is a reminder, for many, how lonely the holidays can be. As the season begins to bustle with people traveling to visit family, attend holiday parties, food planning and gathering with new and old friends to celebrate, many feel left out.
For the 65 and overpopulation loneliness has major health risks and adverse implications. A person doesn't necessarily need to live alone to feel lonely. A lack of purposeful connections and meaningful interactions can lead to a person feeling alone. Feeling lonely is known to be a risk to a person's emotional well-being leading to anxiety and depression, this also negatively affects their physical health increasing early mortality.
Talk to your older family members, they have a wealth of wisdom and knowledge to share. Let them know you care and are interested in encouraging them to communicate. If the distance is a problem you can call, Skype, video chat. Don't let them feel forgotten and encourage other family members to do the same. Physical limitations and age-related decline can make it impossible for your older family members to be as mobile as they once were.
Help the older person in your life determine what sort of new hobbies may interest them and encourage them to learn something new. This a helpful way to not only bring greater satisfaction and improve quality of life but cognitive function and memory. Have they wanted to learn to paint, knit or work with clay? Why not enjoy these activities while in your Golden Years, finally there's time! it's what we all hope for someday!
There are many groups and organizations that meet up and can be an alternative to religiously affiliated functions. Find out what support groups and resources are in your loved one's area and help them to one or two of interest and connect at a meetup. Maintaining social interactions, well into later years, is an important aspect of enjoying life, maintaining cognitive function and overall well-being. They may feel more comfortable if you, or another trusted person, can attend a group or two with them to ease worries of a new situation.
There are times when it's important to seek advice from a healthcare professional.
Depression is not a normal part of aging. Don't let our older population suffer without help.
Any comments and suggestions we can share as a community to support one another during this season? Please share!
May the rest of your 2019 be one of health and Gratitude!