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How to Prevent Senior Loneliness After the Holidays

Senior man staring out a window

Loneliness and depression often affect elder adults once the joys of the holiday season have passed.

The holidays can be overflowing with a whirlwind of activities for the older adults we love, with family gatherings, holiday parties, faith-based services and events, determining the best gifts for those they love. Yet after the decorations are packed away and families have gotten back to the everyday busyness of life, many aging adults are impacted by a frequent but little-discussed concern: post-holiday senior loneliness.

While naturally seniors who live alone are most apt to develop feelings of seclusion and sadness when the holiday activities are over, all older adults are prone to a case of the post-holiday blues, as they look to the approaching year while reminiscing over years past. It’s critical for family members to implement a plan to help their older loved ones experience a positive transition. Give some thought to the following tips:

  • Start planning for the next gathering. Determine a date in the coming weeks for another family event, providing the older loved one as well as the rest of the family with something fun to anticipate. For instance, plan an informal New Year’s resolution check-in gathering for the last week of January, where each person can report on his or her progress towards resolutions that were made, and each bringing a dish to share a potluck meal. 
  • Start a chain letter. Split the family up into groups of five, and give a number to each person who would like to join in, i.e., #1 – 5. The person with #1 will begin by writing a short letter during the first week of January, sending it to the #2 person, who reads and then adds to that letter and then sends to the #3 person – and so on. The last person in the sequence adds to the letter and sends back to the first person to read, and then a new chain can be started. Receiving ongoing mail with news about family members is a great pick-me-up for senior loved ones.
  • Engage the services of New Horizons In-Home Care. New Horizons In-Home Care’s trained and experienced care companions are the perfect solution to senior loneliness! Our caregivers are adept in motivating seniors to remain socially and physically active through a wide range of engaging activities, according to each person’s interests:
    • Reminiscing and conversations
    • Puzzles, games, and crafts
    • Exercise programs
    • Transportation and accompaniment to fun outings
    • And much more!

Let us help ease post-holiday loneliness for the seniors you love, and maintain a sense of community, purpose, and connection all through the year. We’re available for once-weekly visits up through and including full-time, 24/7 care and companionship. Contact New Horizons In-Home Care, expert providers of senior care Salem and the surrounding areas trust, in Eugene: 541-687-8851, Corvallis: 541-752-9059, Salem: 503-400-3000, or Florence: 541-997-8115 and ask for an in-home evaluation and help make your loved ones’ coming year the best one yet!

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