The holidays are typically a joyous time, but for many seniors it can be a sad and emotional season. With all the parties and activities that the season brings, we can forget about those who may need extra time and assistance during the holiday season. Here are 5 ways to lighten the spirits of the senior in your life.
1. Invite them over for a holiday dinner.
Whether they are your direct relatives or not, everyone enjoys being part of a family gathering around the holidays. A simple dinner with a few close friends or family members will send the message that you enjoy their company and their friendship is meaningful to you.
2. If they are living at a senior community, take time to visit.
Take a step into your loved one’s world. If you are worried about conversation starters, just ask about favorite holiday memories or traditions their family always had! Sit in their community spaces and meet their friends. You never know who else in that community might benefit from your visit.
3. Send them a holiday card to let them know you are thinking of them.
Your loved one might receive your family’s holiday greetings card—but so do 100 of your closest friends. Take a moment and write out a personal, handwritten note telling that valued senior in your life how much they mean to you, and they can look to it for encouragement in the months to come.
4. Take them to a local holiday show or play.
Spend a night on the town! If you plan it ahead of time, you give your loved one something to look forward to. If this is a spontaneous event, it will surprise them with a break in their routine. Either way, a holiday musical or theatre event can give them a reason to get dressed up and bond with you over a shared interest.
5. Ask them if you can run errands or go shopping for them.
Running errands can take a lot of stress out of your loved one’s life, especially during the hectic holiday shopping season. And, when it is cold and icy, even a simple trip to the store could become dangerous. Everyone is different, so ask your loved one how you can best be helpful to them and they will be delighted by your thoughtfulness.