Elderly Care During the Holidays

Help Combat Holiday Loneliness for Elders

The holidays are approaching rapidly, and with them we anticipate feelings of joy, gratitude and time spent with family and friends. Unfortunately, for an alarmingly large number of Americans, the holidays may also signal a time of loneliness and despair. While loneliness can affect anyone, the elderly among us are particularly susceptible this time of year. Elderly Care during Holidays is especially important.

Humans are innately social, craving and even requiring social interaction in order to thrive. Sadly, as people age they tend to become more isolated and less able to socialize and connect as often as is healthy. In some cases, this reduced social interaction is caused by a severe illness or lack of previous mobility. Even for the able-bodied, aging brings with it the inevitable loss of friends, colleagues and even spouses. These losses are felt most acutely during the holiday season, when memories of previous years abound.

Although loneliness has been linked to physical illness and functional and cognitive decline, it is often considered a sign of weakness and only discussed with embarrassment, or not brought up at all. Those too ashamed or too depressed by their loneliness may not reach out for the help and interaction they need.

During the holiday season in particular, when people are busy and emotions are high, the elderly may feel as though they are burdening their children or younger family members by asking for help or discussing the loneliness and depression they may be experiencing this time of year.

What Can You Do to Help Combat Loneliness

So what can you do to help your loved one combat loneliness and enjoy the upcoming season? Spending extra time with the elderly in your life may sound simple, but it can have a huge impact on the way they experience the holidays this year. Focus on family, and include them in activities such as holiday decorating, card writing and holiday get-together’s. Make sure they know that their company is valued, and that they don’t have to go it alone while others are enjoying the festivities.

If you have a loved one living in an assisted living facility or unable to travel often, decorate their home with cherished ornaments, and decorate gradually so that there are always more ornaments to look forward to. Bringing children or therapy dogs to visit is always a good idea at this time, as the liveliness of young people and the affection of animals can bring a lot of joy to an older person’s routine. Most importantly, take the time out of your busy schedule to visit. This time of year especially, regular visits and holiday cards will be so appreciated!

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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