Loneliness in Seniors During the Holidays

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 over the past 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 may continue to struggle in visiting their loved ones in care facilities, nursing homes, and even private homes due to COVID restrictions. This makes the holiday season 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 them 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.
 
Here are a few ways to help reduce your senior loved one with feelings of loneliness during the holidays:
  1. Keep the line of communication open with your senior loved ones. Actively and honestly listen to their stories and their thoughts.
  2. Check with your loved one’s religious organization to see if they can offer social and/or spiritual support.
  3. Share cheerful cards, photographs and drawings from friends and family to encourage positivity and lighten their thoughts on missing loved ones.
  4. Remind them how important they are to your life and the lives of your family. Show them they are loved.
  5. Decorate their room in a festive way and add their favourite homemade treat.
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. However they express themselves, continue to remind them that they are loved, remembered and appreciated…just as you are to them.

 


Ideal Caregivers 4u is there when you cannot be.  Remember us during the holidays as we can provide services ranging from Companionship and Meal Assistance to 24-hr Care.
Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998.
We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.