2. Visit them more than just on that “special day”
As mentioned above, social isolation leads to seniors’ mental health problems. So if you can, try to integrate seniors into more than just Christmas Day (or Christmas Eve, or whatever your holiday’s most special day is).
If there are any particular holiday traditions your loved one likes to do, make sure to celebrate it with them.
For example, they may like attending a specific church service or going to see Handel’s Messiah every year.
Taking part in things they enjoy will make their spirits a little brighter, even if they are having a difficult time dealing with the holiday season.
4. Lower the “burden of holiday expectations”
As you already know, ensuring a wonderful holiday season for everyone else requires a lot of work! But not all seniors are physically able to fulfill the same traditions they used to. For example, the slippery, cold and wintry weather can make it difficult for seniors to venture outdoors for shopping. They also may not be mobile enough or live in a large enough place to cook or host a meal.
You can help ease the “expectations burden” of the holidays by offering to help a senior with cooking, shopping, or anything else they need.
Help them keep their costs down by notifying them of sales, giving them a maximum to spend on grandchildren, or even suggesting they don’t buy any presents at all (instead, let your family spoil them).
6. Encourage them to get a flu shot
Unfortunately, the holiday season is also the dreaded flu season!
A flu shot is especially important if the senior in your life is prone to illness and seeing people over the holidays.
Moreover, people aged 65 and over are more susceptible to infection—which can lead to serious complications including pneumonia.
7. Consider investing in a “winter stay”
If you don’t live in the same city as your aging parent or relative, and you are concerned about them being isolated at this time of year, consider looking into a winter stay.
Also referred to as a “short-term stay,” there are so many benefits to staying temporarily in a retirement residence!