Helping Older Loved Ones During the Holidays

Dinner invites can be a way of helping older loved ones during the holidays.

The holidays are a busy time of year. Shopping, menu planning, and all of the other activities that come along with the holidays can make many people feel overwhelmed and forgetful about the real reason for the season. As you’re doing all you need to do during this time, take some time to remember those that may not be as busy, including your older loved ones.

Hustle and Bustle of the Season

For many, the holiday season means carrying the responsibility of work alongside additional personal and familial responsibilities. For example, you may feel the pressure of preparing for holiday guests and providing holiday magic to children. It can be difficult to think that someday, all of the hustle and bustle will be gone. And while some feel they will enjoy the absence of hustle, not all seniors feel that way.

Over the holidays, many reflect on their lives. They remember all of the wonderful memories they have collected, including the busyness and anxiety, but also the laughter, smiles, and excitement. The reason they have to sit and think back is because life is much different for them now. They don’t have that anymore, and it’s something they mourn.

As people grow older, times change and many feel sad and lonely because they don’t have all of the friends and family around they once did. They may sit quietly in their homes as holidays approach, and if they are lucky, they may receive some visitors on the holiday itself.

Take Steps to Help Older Loved Ones

If you take a minute to put yourself in that situation, you may start to feel the despair that many seniors face during this time of year. Then, you suddenly appreciate what you have right now. You may start to feel guilty.

Before you allow yourself to feel bad, stop and do something about it. Take action, so you don’t have to feel that way. Help seniors who are alone this time of year. Ask an older loved one if they’d like to accompany you gift shopping. Or invite them to your home to help you with decorating or cooking. Asking an older loved one to help you is something that could really make their day.

If asking for help is not an option, you can spend extra time with your older loved one to show you care. Many seniors enjoy sipping a warm drink and reminiscing with people. Telling stories of past holidays brings a smile to their faces and allows them to vent. This is greatly therapeutic and can help relieve the tension they may feel this time of year.

Using Technology and Seeking Support

When having your older loved one close is impossible, use modern technology to help. Call them on the phone more often when they are struggling. If using technology is possible, plan to connect online. This way individuals are included in festivities even when they are in a different location.

Additional support is also available. A personal consultant can talk through issues with you or your family member. Having an honest conversation with someone outside of the family can bring unresolved issues to light. Working through worry and sadness can greatly help to boost a person’s physical and mental health.

Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today for help with your personal problems. Or, reach out to provide support for an older adult in your life.

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