Senior Isolation: Beating Loneliness During the Holidays and Beyond
When fall turns to winter and the holiday season sets in, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! For many older adults, however, the holidays can be a reminder of something else.
Loneliness can affect any person at any age. Unfortunately, senior isolation and loneliness have become epidemics for older adults who have a difficult time fostering meaningful connections or live at a distance from friends and family.
At Village Green Senior Living, our senior living communities strive to create environments of opportunity that allow residents to engage in meaningful relationships with family, friends, and team members.
If you or someone you love is experiencing senior isolation, we’re sharing tips to help you beat loneliness during the holidays and how senior living communities can help!
Understanding Senior Isolation
While it’s challenging to measure senior isolation and loneliness, strong evidence shows that social isolation can significantly increase a person’s risk of developing health conditions like dementia, heart disease, depression, and anxiety.
With nearly one-fourth of older adults considered socially isolated, the holidays can be an incredibly challenging time. For those who live alone and at a distance from friends and family, it can bring back memories of celebrations and leave older adults feeling disconnected from their loved ones.
For caregivers and relatives who find themselves busy with their own holiday plans and traditions, it’s essential to ensure your aging loved ones are included in the festivities. If they live at a distance and are unable to travel, do what you can to stay connected and keep in touch regularly during this special time of the year.
How to Manage Loneliness During the Holidays
When an older adult lives alone, it can be easy to go for periods without speaking to anyone, whether face-to-face or through phone calls or other virtual communication options.
While there’s nothing quite like an in-person visit, there are certain situations where travel and distance can get in the way of spending quality time with loved ones during the holidays. If you’re unable to visit your loved ones this holiday season, prioritize creating a schedule for phone calls or video chats.
Make it a point to reach out before any specific holidays, but also make sure that you communicate on the day of the holiday, so that nobody feels as though they’ve been forgotten during this special time.
Embrace Your Local Community
Many places offer convenient options for socializing, celebrating, and participating in group activities during the holiday season, such as:
- Places of faith
- Senior centers
- Volunteer organizations
Senior living communities are a wonderful way to make the most of the holidays with plenty of friendly faces and fun activities! Most communities schedule fun, special events during the holidays to allow residents to mingle with friends and neighbors and enjoy the festivities of the season.
Enjoy Holiday Traditions
Every family has their holiday traditions, whether decorating their homes with beautiful lights and ornaments or watching their favorite holiday film together while baking delicious treats. Take the time to schedule a visit to unpack decorations and spend a meaningful day together, decking the halls and reflecting on fun family memories.
If you’re unable to travel due to distance, schedule a Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime call while you both decorate your respective homes so that you both can enjoy the tradition together even though you’re apart.
How Senior Living Supports Connections
Beyond the care and support, senior living communities make it easy for older adults to stay connected to friends, family, and the things they love. Whether during the holiday season or any time of year, residents of Village Green have access to amenities, conveniences, and, most importantly, connections. Events, classes and programs, clubs, and restaurant-style dining create daily opportunities for residents to spend time with others, build new relationships, and live life their way.
People often become busy during the holidays with gift shopping and planning celebrations, but it’s important to remember what this season is all about – spending time with the people you love.
We invite you to explore our Village Green Senior Living communities by scheduling a tour today!