The holidays are an enjoyable time for most of us, but they can be hard on elderly individuals. It isn’t uncommon for your elderly loved one(s) to feel more isolated, lonely, and depressed during this time of year. Their “holiday blues” can be the result of many factors, including a lack of mobility that makes them feel less independent. Having a long-term care (LTC) provider can be beneficial during these times. If your loved one has long-term care insurance, this can protect them from the high cost of these expensive services. Let the friendly staff at the Center for Long Term Care Planning explain the financial risks of LTC and how best to protect your loved one.
What are other ways you can cheer up your loved one? First, you can understand what they are going through. What has caused their blues? Is it a lack of dependence, the death of a friend, difficulty keeping up with changes, or something else? Understand that their feelings, whether it be isolation, depression, or loneliness are often amplified during the holidays. Don’t let this happen to the one you love. We have created a list of activities you can do to lift their spirits.
Include Them in Activities
Holidays are festive and fun, but with so much planning and preparation, they can also be stressful. Use this as an opportunity to spend time with your elderly loved one while checking a few tasks off your to-do list. Some things they can do include:
- Wrap gifts
- Put cards into envelopes
- Share traditional recipes
- Help prepare recipes
- Arrange flowers around the house
- Help decorate the Christmas tree
- Get the table prepared for dinner
Even if you find an activity as small as folding napkins, this will make them feel needed and reduce some of the negative emotions they may be feeling as the holidays kick in full swing.
Lend an Ear
How many trips down nostalgia lane have you taken with your elderly loved one? Whether you enjoy the journey or not, make time for it during the holidays. As people get older, they start to lose the loved ones who were closest to them and who they could confide in. As a result, this leads to disconnect, and being heard becomes a challenge. Sit with them for a few hours on the weekends and listen as they talk about the “good ol’ days,” or health issues that interfere with their livelihood. Use this as an opportunity to learn new things about them. You can then use this new information to make them feel included every day of the year, not just the holidays.
Small Gestures Matter
There are many small gestures that reveal how much you care and appreciate your loved one. Where to begin?
- Prepare their favorite holiday meal.
- Buy them a gift they really need but haven’t gotten around to buying
- Invite them to all holiday gatherings (don’t feel bad if they decline a few invitations)
- Go for walks with them around the neighborhood
- Invite them over to watch a holiday movie with the family
- Invite them over for a small, family dinner
Send a Holiday Card
If your loved one doesn’t live in the same state (or even country), don’t take the “out of sight, out of mind” approach over the holidays. Let them know they aren’t forgotten by sending a holiday card with a meaningful message. Ask other members of the family to sign the card. Children can add drawings for an extra meaningful touch, and don’t forget to include photographs of the family gathering your loved one may have missed over the years. It’s a simple but meaningful gesture that will lift their spirit this holiday.
Hire a Long Term Care Provider
If your loved one lives alone, ask them if they would be willing to receive professional help. They may have their reservations initially, but explain the benefits of it, which include:
- Meal preparations
- Transportation services
- Activities of daily living (i.e., bathing, dressing, grooming)
- Much more to add value to their lives during the holidays and every other day
Contact the Center for Long Term Care Planning
We understand that LTC services can be costly and can quickly deplete one’s savings. For over 30 years, our professional staff has helped thousands of people secure financial protection when utilizing these services. For help learning about long-term care insurance in Boca Raton, contact the Center for Long Term Care Planning. Call (561) 272-0720 to get a quote comparison.15