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Post-Holiday Senior Loneliness – What To Do When The Family Leaves

Senior man staring out a window
Elder adults are more likely to experience loneliness after the holiday season is over.

The holidays can be packed with a whirlwind of activities for the seniors we love, with family gatherings, holiday parties, religious services and events, picking out the perfect gifts for those they love. Yet after the holiday ornaments are packed away and family members have gotten back to the daily busyness of life, many older adults are impacted by a frequent but little-discussed condition: post-holiday senior loneliness.

While older adults who live alone are most at risk of feelings of seclusion and sadness when the holiday activities are complete, all older individuals are in danger of a case of the post-holiday blues, as they look to the approaching year while reminiscing over years past. It’s crucial for family members to formulate a plan to help their older loved ones experience a positive transition. Take into consideration the following recommendations:

  • Make plans for the next gathering. Set a date in the coming weeks for another family celebration, providing the older adult along with the rest of the family with something fun to anticipate. For example, arrange an informal New Year’s resolution check-in party for the last week in January, during which each person can report on his or her progress towards resolutions that were made, and each bringing a dish to share a potluck meal. 
  • Put together a chain letter. Divide the family up into teams of five, and designate a number to each person who’d like to participate, i.e., #1 – 5. The person with #1 will begin by writing a short letter in the first week of January, sending it to the #2 person, who reads and then adds to that letter and mails to the #3 person – and so on. The final person in the chain adds to the letter and sends back to the first person to read, and then a new chain can be initiated. Receiving ongoing mail with news about family members is a great pick-me-up for senior loved ones.
  • Engage the services of CareFor. CareFor’s trained and experienced care companions are the best solution to senior loneliness! Our Austin caregiving services motivate seniors to stay socially and physically active through a wide range of interesting activities, according to each person’s interests:
    • Reminiscing and conversations
    • Puzzles, games, and crafts
    • Exercise programs
    • Transportation and accompaniment to fun outings
    • And much more!

Let us help reduce post-holiday loneliness for the older adults you love, and preserve a sense of community, purpose, and connection all throughout the year. We’re available for once-weekly visits up through and including full-time, around-the-clock home care Austin, TX and the surrounding areas rely on. Contact us online or call (512) 338-4533 and request a free in-home evaluation to establish what will work best in your specific situation, and help make your loved ones’ coming year the best one yet!

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