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How to Support Seniors During Christmas

Senior man sitting infront of a christmas tree.

Holidays provide time for families and friends to come together and celebrate people, victories, religious remembrance and personal events. For many of us, we see this as a very joyous time of year, perhaps filled with gifts, good food and lots of laughter. Sadly, for many seniors, it may be difficult to stay positive during this cheerful season. As the years go by, it is more common for seniors to experience the loss of loved ones causing the feeling of loneliness which can ultimately result in bouts of (seasonal) depression.

Unfortunately, holidays can drum up the negative feelings that come with the years passing and remembering loved ones that are no longer there to experience the joy this holiday season. Below are some ways you can support the elders in your family and create an environment that allows them to feel the spirit of joy, peace, love and kindness. Reminisce in a Positive Way Big family holidays may bring up the nostalgic memories of the past involving loved ones who can no longer participate and share the joy of the holiday season. Use this time to reminisce on the wonderful past memories, reflect on things that have changed and appreciate those that haven’t. Break out the photo albums or old home movies and indulge in the amazing memories that were created in their lifetime and have your loved one explain the stories that come behind every picture or video. Initiate Conversation

Older adults can go weeks to months without speaking to someone, especially those with poor health or unavailability to transportation. Reach out to your loved ones and reserve 20-30 minutes a week, at least, for a phone call to lend a listening ear and to be a person they can count on. In-person visits are even better, so if you are able to visit a loved one, they would surely appreciate every minute they have in your presence. Include Them in Holiday Traditions

Sometimes all you need is a little holiday cheer to pull you out of the holiday blues. Inviting your loved ones to participate in the greater festive parts of the holiday, like decorating a fragrant Christmas tree, baking Christmas cookies, wrapping presents or watching favorite classic Christmas movies.

Help Them get in the Spirit

Everyone loves the warm feeling that is accompanied with a well-decorated home for the holidays. Surprise your loved ones with traditional Christmas decorative items that can help them experience the spirit of Christmas. This could be anything from a beautiful poinsettia or mini Christmas tree to a tin of freshly baked Christmas cookies or cinnamon-scented pinecones. This Christmas, just being present with your loved one will fulfill more than you could imagine. If you do not live in close proximity with them, attempt to arrange a special delivery for them so they can still feel their importance during this joyful season. It’s not about the money or gifts but about the presence of family.


If you enjoyed this article, explore our Senior Lifestyle Blog for more just like it! Or, for easy healthy recipes you can create, click here.

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