Ever since your mom died several years ago, your elderly father just hasn’t been the same. Depression seems to be his new constant companion, and when the holidays come around every year dad’s demeanor gets even worse. He still lives alone nearby, so you’ve been trying to come up with some creative ways to lift him out of his funk and get him in the holiday spirit.
Millions of older Americans struggle with feelings of loneliness and despair during the holidays. Fortunately, helping an elderly parent get in the holiday spirit is possible when taking this approach.
Why Are Some Seniors Like Scrooge?
If the senior in your life is acting more like Ebenezer Scrooge than Bob Cratchit now that December has arrived, it could be for one or more of these reasons:
- Deteriorating health
- Recent loss of a spouse or other close loved one
- Financial problems
- Not feeling wanted or needed anymore
- Adult children have all moved away
Aging in place seniors who choose social isolation over interaction any time of year ultimately place their health and wellbeing at serious risk.
Making Dad Smile Again
Dad is taking your mom’s death hard, and that’s understandable. A good strategy is refocusing his mind on positive activities during the holiday season by:
Asking Him to Help Decorate
Call your father up and tell him that you need some help putting up decorations. If he scoffs at your invitation, mention that you’re fresh out of creative ideas and that you could really use his input. Once he begrudgingly agrees, keep him occupied with:
- Helping your family pick out a real tree, or getting the artificial tree and decorations out of storage.
- Decorating the tree with you.
- Putting up other decorations around the house, including outside lights (when safe) and Christmas wreaths.
Taking Dad Shopping
Tell dad that you need help picking out gifts for your spouse and children. While at the store, ask him what present he’d like this year. You may even get him to open-up about his feelings if holiday shopping reminds him of your mom. When you get home, insist that dad helps wrap the gifts too, and then invite him over to join the family when it’s time to open presents. Use the opportunity to tell dad how much he’s loved and appreciated, and that you remember how special he made Christmas celebrations for you while growing up.
Watching Christmas Movies Together
Invite dad over one night to watch one of his favorite Christmas movies with the whole family. Movies are a great way for seniors to reduce their stress levels and get into the holiday spirit. Mentally escaping into the world of make-believe characters will help take his mind off real-life challenges like declining health or mom’s death.
Bringing Him to a Concert
Take your dad to see a holiday concert at church, school or another community venue, or listen to some carolers at the park. Music has a soothing effect on a person’s mood, and certain songs bring forth positive memories. It’s also another chance to spend some quality time with your father, which will benefit the both of you!
Hiring a Professional Caregiver
If you live far away, you could also hire dad a professional in-home caregiver to pick up his spirits and keep him company over the holidays. Make sure that he agrees to it first, that you interview the caregiver beforehand, and that you use a licensed home care agency with positive client reviews.
In-Home Companion Care That’ll Brighten Your Senior’s Mood
Having the time to brighten up the holiday mood of an aging in place loved one is hard when you live far away. When you need a hand, contact First In Care. As a fully licensed and insured agency, our highly trained caregivers specialize in making seniors feel safe and comfortable so they can keep aging in place right where they want to be. While serving as an extended family in your loved one’s home, our carefully screened professionals can perform duties like light housework, personal hygiene, meals, medication reminders, companionship and transportation.
And, all our family trusted home care and skilled nursing services can be individually combined into an affordable package that’ll restore your peace of mind! To read some of our client reviews now, or to schedule a FREE, in-home assessment for a senior in Manatee County, FL, today, please visit First In Care at: www.firstincare.com.