Helping Seniors with Dementia Overcome Holiday Loneliness

Written by on January 5, 2022 in Conscious Living, Thrive with 0 Comments
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The holidays are an exciting time for many; there's plenty to look forward to, from festivals to sweet treats and gift exchanges. However, it can be a stressful time for seniors with dementia who live alone.

Your aging parent or grandparent might have been accustomed to family traditions. Maintaining traditions can be challenging for a senior with dementia. For example, if they used to go shopping alone before but aren't allowed to operate a motor vehicle now, they might feel upset about that. But, here are some ways you can help your loved one with dementia overcome loneliness during the holidays.

Move Them into a Care Home

If your loved one lives alone, it is already a health risk for them. In addition, the holidays can increase loneliness and impact their mental health too. Moving seniors into home-like dementia care facilities will allow them to receive consistent nursing care.

In addition, living in a retirement home allows the senior to communicate with more people, making them feel lonely. They can make new traditions and share their life stories with new friends, allowing them to feel happier.

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Keep Traditions Alive

Your loved one probably misses the old traditions in which they no longer participate. Sometimes, traditions change due to time constraints and lack of interest. However, individuals with dementia may reminisce about the old times and feel nostalgic about old traditions. So, keeping some holiday traditions alive can allow them to feel more comfortable and reduce their loneliness.

If your family tradition was to bake a cake together, arrange for that to happen and spend some quality time with your aging family member.

Stay in Touch with Technology

It might not be possible for you to visit your loved ones as often as you like, especially if they live far. Stay in touch with them through technology to ensure they know they're not alone. You can provide them with an easy-to-use phone or tablet and teach them how to operate the device.

Make sure you download all necessary apps to conduct video calls and receive photos so that they can feel like they're with you at all times. Be patient as you teach them how to use those apps, as it can be challenging for them. Luckily, recent upgrades in technology make it easier for older adults to embrace them.

Add Festive Touches to Their Home

It can be boring to stare at plain walls and live in the same old atmosphere. Add some festive touches to their home or room in their retirement residence. You could include old photos, garlands, artificial wreaths, and anything that is not a hazard but brings a smile to their face.

Many seniors reflect on past holidays, so you can try to make the room look like an old one to help them reminisce their memories.

Credit: Irina Iriser Via Pexels

Help Them Feel Important

One of the most meaningful steps you can take to make your loved ones feel included this holiday season is to ensure they feel important. Spend as much time with them as you can, both in person and on the phone.

You can also show them their value by assigning small tasks to them. They may feel like they are a burden sometimes, but you can diminish that feeling by allowing them to contribute to your holiday celebrations.

It can be challenging for a senior with dementia to enjoy the season. But, you can help them get into the holiday spirit by taking a few steps listed above.

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