According to the U.S. Department of Health Resources & Services Administration, loneliness and social isolation can be as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and the problem is particularly acute among seniors, especially during holidays. Two in five Americans report that they sometimes or always feel their social relationships are not meaningful, and one in five say they feel lonely or socially isolated.
With the holiday season in full swing, here are a few tips for how to include your loved ones in holiday celebrations and make the season enjoyable.
- Create New Traditions: Mixing new and old traditions can allow for a much more balanced and stress-free holiday season. Having something to look forward to and plan towards offers a combined sense of calm and excitement.
- Share Life Stories: Encourage your seniors to share their favorite memories, lessons learned, joys, challenges. They will be thrilled to be asked and eager to open up.
- Make Communication a Priority: A great conversation can be invigorating, exciting, comforting, and informative. Many studies have demonstrated that older adults who maintain social relationships have a more positive outlook on life, better overall physical and mental health.
- Get Creative: Creative activities have a great benefit for anyone who pursues them, and senior citizens are no exception.
- Consider a Professional Caregiver to Assist: Recognizing when you need outside help is good for you, and for your loved one, too. And you gain peace of mind knowing that the most important senior in your life is in the best of hands.
If you need additional care assistance for a senior this holiday season, Advanced Home Care Services caregivers are here for you. If you’re interested in more information about how in-home care can help your senior loved ones, contact your nearest AHCS office today.