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The holidays are a festive time with family and friends, but for some elderly people the holidays can also be a time of extreme sadness and loneliness. The memories of friends and family who have been lost can be difficult and painful. Energy levels can also decrease, and getting around becomes harder with the change in weather. Depression and feelings of helplessness increase.

It’s extremely important to give the elderly extra time and attention during this season and to make it a point to visit with and listen to them. 

Here are some additional tips that may be helpful:

  • Remind them how important they are to you and your family at holiday celebrations
  • Consider being with them as they open up their mail and receive holiday cards
  • Look into the religious organizations that your loved one is involved with and make arrangements for him/her to attend an event
  • Decorate his/her room or home to make it festive
  • Bring the holiday to them. Most assisted living/ skilled nursing homes have common rooms for small gatherings and parties
  • Prepare a special dinner for them
  • Make them feel loved. Include them in singing traditional songs, listening to music, opening presents and spending time together
Do what you can to make your elder loved one feel important and loved. It will make getting through the holiday blues so much easier and less painful. A little extra effort on your part can go a long way in making the holidays festive and joyous for everyone.
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The Gift of Time

Gift of time imageIs spending time with your elderly family member or friend part of your plans for the holidays? While we all have busy lives, time spent together is often worth more than a gift you picked up at a store and can become a meaningful holiday tradition.
If you’re looking for ideas of activities that would be appreciated, we’ve compiled a list for you. Feel free to come up with other ideas based on what is locally available to you.
Ideas for giving the gift of time:
  • Explore online together at an Internet Café or using a library’s computers
  • Go out for coffee
  • Help to finish a special project like cleaning out the attic or rearranging a closet
  • Work together on organizing a photo album
  • Prep a healthy meal together
  • Visit somewhere special to them
  • Bring a board game such as Boggle, Checkers, Chess, Backgammon or Sorry
  • If they have a special interest, this is the perfect time to learn about it
The more physically active elder might enjoy:
  • A Tai-Chi class
  • Nature walks
  • A walk around a mall (for when it’s too cold to be outside)
  • A visit to a bookstore

It is well documented that seniors who are mentally engaged stay healthy and strong for longer than seniors who are less active. Lets keep them active for as long as we can.

There are so many more ways you can gift your time! What will you do?

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