For many of us, this is a season of joyful celebration, the gathering of friends and family, and the sharing of traditional meals, desserts and stories. But for some, especially this year, it can be a time of sadness remembering those whom we’ve lost and those who are unable to visit.
For the elderly, especially those in long-term care facilities, the holidays can place a tremendous amount of anxiety, sadness, confusion, and loneliness. Many families have struggled this year in trying to visit their loved ones in care facilities, nursing homes, and even private homes due to COVID restrictions. This making this particular year especially challenging.
Remind your loved ones that although you may not be able to come together as you once did, you are still thinking about them. Share your photos, stories, and festive feasts through phone calls and video chats. Send then Christmas cards, treats, and photos in the mail. Check with your loved one’s facility director to see if window visits can be arranged or even limited visits with immediate family members are possible.
Feelings of loneliness may not manifest themselves the same way with every person. Some may exhibit negative and challenging behaviours as they cannot express themselves verbally, others may share stories of loved ones who have passed and express how much they are missed, and some just may want you to listen as they share their memories while holding your hand.
Here are a few ways to help reduce your senior loved one with feelings of loneliness during the holidays.