I was talking with a friend who lost her mother this year and is worried about Dad missing her this Christmas. After all, they have been married 56 years! She told me that Dad has been a trooper all year, but Christmas was always their “special” holiday, and she wants him to be happy.
Did you know that, according to Pew Research, 20% of Americans over 60 live alone and that number increases with age? And yes, over 60% report feelings of loneliness, especially this week. Here are a few ways we can help:
- Make communication a priority. Some older adults go days without speaking to anyone at all, especially those who are in poor health or who have limited mobility or transportation options. Nothing beats an in-person visit but if you can’t see each other around the holidays, talking on the phone or video chatting can make a world of difference.
- Encourage and facilitate social activities through local organizations. Places like churches and community senior centers are great places for individuals of all ages to meet like-minded people and find opportunities for group activities. Offer to join them on their first trip to any new places to reduce anxiety and apprehension.
- Identify opportunities to combat loneliness at any time. For those times in between when loneliness can strike, create a list of family and friends they can call. It can be kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, neighbors, and even their church. For many of my senior friends nothing beats a 5-minute conversation of “Hey, how are you today? Can you believe this weather?”
Believe it or not, this is the best time of year to consider a move to Danbury Senior Living. Give us a call to learn more about a supportive living environment with friendly neighbors of the same age and interests!