Celebrations | December 16, 2021
Find five ways to connect with seniors during the Holidays and meaningful ways to make sure older adults are physically and mentally healthy and feeling the joy of the holiday season. Connection isn’t just important during the big days on the calendar – it includes time throughout the season in between holiday celebrations.
Feelings of senior isolation and loneliness can lead to depression, especially during quarantine and stay-at-home orders for seniors. It doesn’t take much time or effort to brighten someone’s day with a smile and hello in any shape or form. And with so many seasonal activities on hold, many need to find new ways to stay connected.
From parents, grandparents, and elderly neighbors to friends and family in other cities and provinces, here are a few ways to connect with others when you can’t be together in person.
Don’t underestimate the joy that a daily or weekly phone call can bring to both seniors and those that care for them. Most seniors have a phone readily accessible. Schedule a call or reach out during a time you know they’ll be available. Spend time during the holidays to talk about past celebrations, family updates and everyone’s wellbeing. Get silly, sing holiday songs together, and remember to find reasons to laugh together.
There are a number of apps and websites to facilitate a video call. Many seniors are familiar with this technology, but some are not. Have someone in their household help set up a video call for older adults that aren’t sure how to get started. And families can consider gifting a tablet or smart phone to a senior that doesn’t have access to a video system. Even for those that are familiar with the technology, make the first move and call them first. Spontaneous video calls may catch some off-guard, so be respectful of time and space. And find ways to make it special – decorate your background, send your senior loved ones small items to decorate theirs, use holiday frames, or use the time to sing or read stories together.
Another way to spread holiday cheer over video is with recorded video messages. Have family and friends record a short video and send it to a senior loved one. There are apps that make recording and editing video quick and easy, and being able to see loved ones at any time is a true gift for many seniors.
Nothing beats a surprise note in the mailbox. Take pen to paper with a handwritten message or type and print a longer letter to share a personal update, favorite memory, or story. As a special bonus, add a few printed pictures in the envelope. And remember to reach out to senior loved ones early and often during the holidays. Set up a pen pal exchange or send frequent notes with favorite holiday memories.
For some situations it is not recommended that seniors attend in-person gatherings but, there are many creative ways to show older adults love during the holidays. Leave a message on their sidewalk with chalk, stand outside with signs and banners, have a family drive-through holiday parade for a senior, leave a thoughtful gift on their doorstep or sing carols.
Our goal is to provide uplifting in-home care that benefits seniors and their families. The individualized care plans we create for our clients consider physical goals as well as non-physical mental health needs. Our caregivers can provide companionship or transportation to community events, and support physician-prescribed exercise regimens, provide companionship and help to families that want to stay connected through technology. We strive to elevate the human spirit through quality, compassionate, joyful care.
To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers Edmonton location today.