Reducing Loneliness for your Loved Ones Around the Holidays

It’s very human to feel that holidays should be happy times, with generations of traditions coming to the forefront. After all, we say we celebrate holidays. Doesn’t that mean happiness? The reality, however, is that many people can feel isolated and lonely.

Loved ones can have an especially hard time with the holiday season. While aging and maturity can bring the wisdom of years for many people, there are inevitable losses that come to even the most healthy individuals. The reality is that the holidays can bring a sense of isolation and a feeling of loneliness to a head.

You, the adult child of a parent who may seem depressed during the holidays, can do much to help. Yes, you are busy and stressed yourself. However, by simplifying the holiday season all around and concentrating on what really matters – people – you can offer your parent help through what can be, for some, a time of discouragement.

Tips to enhance your loved ones’ holidays

Try to put yourself into their place: Listen and understand when they want to talk, even if the talk is negative. Don’t imply they are whining or that they should snap out of it. They can’t. Your empathy is vital here.

Remind them they are loved: Remind them how important they are as a part of your own celebration and that of the entire family. Be especially careful not to act like what you do for them is a duty. This can be tough, as your tired body language can show through. However, again, put yourself in their place. They may feel useless and burdensome.

Simplify! Help them see that you are trying to simplify the holidays in order to bring back the real meaning of our celebrations. Let them know you are trying to ignore the hype that has increased over the years. Remind them that they taught you that it’s people who count, and thank them for that.

Visit with youngsters and grandchildren: If your parent is in an assisted living facility or nursing home, check with the local kindergarten or day care centers to see if they can bring children to visit the loved ones. The freshness of the small children’s presence can help lighten a day for an elder in physical or emotional pain.

Keep traditions alive: Bring traditional baked goods or treats regularly for your loved ones and their friends to share. And call your loved ones’ friends and see if they can come visit.

Accept help: Ask for help and support! Hopkinton Home Care is here to help!

Spend time with them: This is the most important thing you can do for you and for them. Look at holiday photos or videos with them and leave them photos in a handy place so they can walk down memory lane when they are alone. Play music. Listen to them reminisce.

Your time is precious to you. You likely have a spouse, children and others who need you. However, your time is the most valuable gift you can give your loved ones during this holiday. Do what you can without stressing yourself beyond your limits. Your being somewhat relaxed is also important to your loved ones. Remember that you won’t reach perfection and you won’t please everyone all of the time. Your best efforts will be good enough.

Hopkinton Home Care wants to answer your personal and confidential questions. Only after we learn what you need can we let you know how we can meet those needs. Give us a call: 508-544-4650.

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