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The Vital Role of Family and Community for Seniors During the Holidays


senior woman laughing

Here at Rose’s Agency Home Care, we look forward to the holiday season all year long. It is a wonderful time to celebrate, spend quality time with our loved ones, and create special memories. Being surrounded by friends, family, and community during this time of year can be incredibly meaningful and beneficial for seniors. Older adults can frequently feel lonely and isolated and need to feel connected to those around them to stay happy and healthy. 


Fortunately, the holiday season can be a perfect time to provide seniors with the social connections and familial bonds they seek. Keep reading to learn more about why it is so important for family and community members to bond with the seniors in their lives during the holidays!


Fighting Holiday Loneliness with Love


Although the holidays are supposed to be the happiest time of the year, seniors often feel left out and lonely. Loneliness can rob older adults of their ability to live vibrant and independent lives and is linked to serious health problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and even heart disease. If seniors don’t feel cared for during the holiday season, they can feel even more isolated, lonely, and depressed. 


Fortunately, friends and family can significantly improve senior well-being and mental health by taking the time to bond with their loved ones during the holiday season. By sharing a laugh, creating memories, and including seniors in yearly traditions, family members can provide seniors with an important sense of purpose and continuity. In fact, seniors who have strong bonds with their loved ones tend to report higher levels of life satisfaction and a reduced sense of loneliness. 


Community and Senior Wellness


senior women taking a picture

Seniors can also leverage their communities to fight back against loneliness during the holiday season. They can participate in holiday events held in their local senior centers, libraries, places of worship, and recreation facilities.


Taking part in these events can provide cognitive stimulation to seniors and lead them toward a more active and healthy lifestyle. Community members can also make time to call and catch up with the people in their lives, making sure to share life updates and check up on each other during the holidays. 


Great Ways to Make Seniors Feel Included During the Holidays


There are so many great ways in which friends, family, and community members can make the seniors in their lives feel included during the holiday season. Here are a few ideas you can choose from to ensure they feel a sense of belonging during this special time of the year: 


Host Intergenerational Gatherings: Invite people of all ages over to share a meal and spend quality time together. Seniors love being around younger people, talking with them, and seeing the world through their eyes. 


Involve Them in Holiday Tasks: Find ways to get the seniors in your life involved with the preparations needed during the holiday season. For example, seniors could cook up a traditional meal that has been passed down through the generations. Making sure they are included can boost feelings of self-worth and ensure they feel valued by those around them. 


Plan Senior-Friendly Activities: When creating activities for holiday gatherings, take the time to ensure that seniors will be able to participate and enjoy the activities as well. Keep things low-stress and easy for seniors to understand and access. For example, creating a family photobook or scrapbook could be a wonderful way to relieve happy memories and create cherished keepsakes.  


Ensure Seniors are Comfortable: Make sure seniors are being well taken care of during holiday gatherings. They may need some extra attention to make sure they aren’t in pain, overwhelmed, stressed, or in need of food and water. Take the time to check on them and ensure they have a quiet place to rest if needed. 


Conclusion


seniors playing with child

As you can see, there are so many wonderful ways to ensure that the holiday season is inclusive, joyful, and memorable for seniors. Ensuring that older adults feel like they belong and are cared for during the holidays can go a long way in fighting feelings of senior loneliness, isolation, and depression throughout the year. As we celebrate the holidays, let’s remember how important family and community can be for the seniors in our lives. Taking the time to love and care for them can truly do wonders for their health and well-being. 

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