The holidays are fast approaching, and for most of us this means fun times spent with family, friends and other loved ones. However, for seniors, holidays can be difficult. Many have lost a spouse and friends through the years, or perhaps live far away from their families and may be unable to travel long distances to see loved ones. This means the holidays can be a lonely time for many seniors, especially those who live by themselves at home.
This year, Comfort Keepers® encourages you to reach out to elderly people you know and give the gift of holiday cheer. There are many ways you can make a huge difference in the life of seniors by simply spending time with them. Offer to bake holiday goodies together, or invite a senior friend shopping for Christmas presents or a cup of coffee. You can play games and even spend an afternoon writing holiday cards to send to friends and family. Take a walk or an evening drive to enjoy holiday lights and decorations.
Reach out to seniors you do not know for the same reasons. Organize a holiday get- together at your church for seniors. Take a visit with your children to an assisted living facility and sing Christmas carols. You can also volunteer at local organizations that offer services to seniors in your community. You can help plan activities such as trips, exercise classes, book clubs or other gatherings that provide avenues for seniors to expand their circle of friends. Call an organization like Comfort Keepers, which employs caregivers to assist the elderly during the holidays and throughout the year to provide grocery shopping, light cleaning or other duties that make it easier for seniors to live independently at home alone. Comfort Keepers offers more than just physical assistance – we provide important social interaction for seniors on a daily basis. During the holidays, for example, caregivers could take your loved ones to holidays events, sit with them to go over old photo albums, and similar activities.
Spending time with seniors makes them feel valued, involved, and less lonely and isolated during the holiday season. The holidays can provide unique opportunities to connect with seniors in ways that enrich not only their lives, but your own. Giving the gift of your time is a small way you can make a large difference in the lives of seniors. They may not use words to express the value of your time with them, but watch as their faces light up with smiles and their steps become a bit lighter during your visit. You are certain to find your gift of holiday cheer comes to mean as much to you as it does to the elderly people with whom you share it.