Why you should visit seniors during the holiday season

As we get into the festive spirit, it’s important to remember that the holiday season can be a difficult time for seniors isolated from the community. There are many ways we can brighten their lives but the best gift we can give them is the gift of time.

Whether it’s Dad, Mom, Grandma, Grandpa, or a senior you’ve never met, your time and attention can go a long way. And although the routine demands of your own life and responsibilities can be overwhelming, being selfless and making an effort can prevent your aging loved ones from feeling depressed, isolated or lonely.

Here are three reasons why you should seniors during the holidays and spread some holiday cheer.

It’s shows them you care.

Even brief visits every so often provide reassurance to seniors—it shows them they’re still loved, cared for and appreciated. Listen to what they have to say. They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll be happy you took the time to reconnect.

If you don’t have a senior parent or grandparent, but still want to reach out to isolated elders, consider volunteering at a care home. There are many ways you can help at care homes or community groups dedicated to seniors.

You could host bingo night or a workshop, play music for residents, or just spend a few hours helping staff with administrative tasks. Reach out to your local care home or a non-profit involved in seniors’ care, and ask staff how you can get involved.

It improves their quality of life.

Social isolation is nothing short of a public health crisis. According to a federal report on social isolation, nearly 50 per cent of seniors over the age of 80 report feeling lonely.

Regardless of age, we all crave human interaction, and need connections to feel healthy. Social isolation and loneliness are associated with depression, high blood pressure, an increased risk of long-term illnesses, and increased mortality among seniors.

Regular visits can help seniors feel connected and less lonely. Spending time with a loved one is vital to their happiness and overall wellbeing. The holidays are the perfect opportunity to reach out to them and enhance their quality of life.

You can check on their health.

A visit to a senior’s home can give you a clear understanding of their health and quality of life, and firsthand knowledge of their living arrangements. You can observe if they’re eating enough and taking their medications, and how they’re feeling.

Talk to your loved one, and ask them if they have everything they need to stay healthy.