The holiday season can bring a mixture of emotions to an aging senior, especially if they need long term care. If they’re in a memory care nursing home, you know that they’re getting the best Alzheimers care available. But holiday stress can take a toll on everyone.
Here’s how to ease the loneliness your loved one may feel around the holidays.
Visit during the holidays
Very few people prefer to be alone during the holidays and making the effort to visit your family member in their memory care facility or nursing home can mean the world to them. In some instances, you may even be able to bring your loved one home for the holidays.
When you visit, be sure to remind them about how important they are to you. While numerous presents may seem over the top depending on your family member, a small card or gift can be a wonderful, thoughtful reminder that you love them during the colder winter days to come.
Encourage friendships in the memory care facility
Unfortunately, you can’t be around all the time. If your loved one is feeling particularly lonely, encourage them to form bonds with other people in their nursing homes. It’s estimated that almost 70% of older Americans will need long-term care as they age. If your loved one isn’t the social butterfly, consider attending a few events with them to make them more comfortable. Assisted living homes often have group events and bonding to keep seniors active and engaged throughout the week.
Craft holiday cards together
There’s no better way to feel connected to the world than by creating ways to reach out to your friends. Seasonal greeting cards are a must during the holidays and you can make a whole evening out of crafting cards and watching old Christmas movies. Focusing on others will help your loved one feel more connected to others which can in turn ease feelings of loneliness or disconnectedness.
There’s no perfect formula for making your loved one feel appreciated and listened to during the holiday season. If you have a loved one in a memory care nursing home, the best thing you can do is ask them what they’d like to do this holiday season. Never underestimate the benefits of listening!