Celebrating Thanksgiving: Ways to Reduce Loneliness for the Elderly
Thanksgiving is a day that many people look forward to as an exciting time with turkeys, pumpkin pies, and family get-together. Unfortunately, it is not always the same for seniors. The holiday season often brings bittersweet memories for them. They often feel lonelier on this day as it can bring flashbacks of their loved ones (parents, spouses, friends) who are no longer with them. Additionally, health problems and chronic pain can further dampen their holiday spirit. Here are a few ways to help the elderly have a happy Thanksgiving despite the challenges of aging:
Do some fun activities:
As a caregiver, you can arrange some activities which are both easy and fun. Activities like decorating pumpkins or making greeting cards are great. You can ask for their assistance in preparing a portion of the Thanksgiving meal. The elderly often have fun ways to bake delicious food and are usually willing to share their recipes.
Decorate the house with them:
Many elderly don’t decorate their house for any holiday season. Try to make them understand that is both fun and beautiful to decorate the house. Assist them or ask how they want to decorate and offer suggestions. Make them a part of this decoration activity, and don’t forget to praise them once you’re both done.
Talk to them:
Many elderly don’t have anyone to share their feelings with. Try talking to them, but don’t forget to honor what they’re feeling. Be careful that you don’t make them feel embarrassed about feeling lonely on Thanksgiving. If they’re comfortable, ask them about their loved ones. Dig out some old photographs so that they could cherish, relive the good old days, and tell tales about times past.
Invite their family over:
Those who are gone cannot return, but there are people that care. Invite their family over for Thanksgiving dinner. Try keeping it as a surprise and see how memorable you make the day for them.
It is tough to celebrate Thanksgiving with the challenges of aging, but with the right love and care, this lonely day can become a day to be cherished forever.