Christmas is a time for cheer, but for many of elder members of society, it can also be a period of extreme sadness and feeling lonely. With many older people widowed or living alone, they can often be left cut adrift while the rest of us are enjoying each other’s company and getting in to the festive spirit. Lasting now the majority of November and December, both the reminders for and celebration of Christmas aren’t condensed down to just one day on the 25th, so it isn’t something that’s easily avoidable.
An unfortunate and unhappy reality of aging, losing one’s independence and having to rely on others isn’t an easy transition – but there are ways for those of us with elderly relatives or neighbours to help during this time of year, and make older people feel more involved, engaged and a part of Christmas, rather than being left alone to their own devices.
Assist with Christmas shopping
Whether you take them out for the day or simply sit with them long enough to guide them through online shopping for their loved ones, allowing older people to participate in giving gifts is a simple yet effective way of allowing them to feel more involved and part of proceedings. Christmas is about giving, and having the opportunity to give gifts will provide a sense of usefulness that they may otherwise have been lacking from their day-to-day life.
Help them decorate their home
With some older folk suffering with mobility issues, going over and helping them get a few decorations up around their home to make it feel more festive and welcoming is a lovely way to make them feel more a part of the Christmas period. Getting the tree up and adding the odd dash of tinsel around isn’t going to take more than a few hours at very most, which seems insignificant when you consider how much good it may do over the course of December.
Buy them useful a present
While it’s easy to get stocking fillers or comedy presents for those deemed most difficult to get gifts for, buying older people more useful things is a great way of making them feel both involved and improving their quality of living. Just as helpful to get something small that they will use often – perhaps a larger television remote or book light and magnifying glass to make reading easier – or a more substantial gift like a mobility scooter from Mobility Solutions, there are creative ways to match practicality in amongst the festivities.
This post was created in collaboration with Motability Solutions