We are taught at a young age that giving presents are how we express our love. But as we get older, we realize that it is not the materialistic presents that matter. What truly matters is the present of being present, showing love, and giving our time. This is especially true for the parents, grandparents, and older adults in our lives. The holidays can be loney for older adults who do not live near their families. The isolation brings up feelings of loneliness and sadness. People want to feel loved and appreciated, so instead of taking a trip to the mall, take a trip to your loved one’s house and spend more time with them. There is no better present you can give them.
It can be hard for some seniors to travel and join the holiday festivities with their family. If they can not make it, or have a hard time getting around, then take the time to go to them. You can make them feel like a part of the festivities. There are many things you can do together to enjoy each other’s time and have some fun.
Helping put up decorations for the holidays is a thoughtful gesture, especially if your loved one has mobility issues or lives alone. Who wouldn’t love to see all the lights and decorations that brings joyfulness? Speaking of lights, you and your elderly loved one can take a care ride through the neighborhood to see all the holiday decorations. You can take the tour, enjoy each other’s company, and stop for some tea or hot chocolate.
Create A Tradition
Family game night anyone? Have a family game night once a week, or once a month with your loved one. If family game night is not your thing, then watch a holiday movie, sing some songs, or bake together. Share what is going on in your lives, and take pictures so the memory can last forever. Whatever tradition you choose to create, you can carry it on beyond the holidays with each other.
Paint The Town
A lot of times, your elderly loved one can not go out as often to enjoy the simple things, such as shopping. Either they are immobile, or just lonely. Go out and paint the town together if your loved one can manage! You can go out to eat, shop, volunteer, or just to take a stroll together. This will have a huge impact on your loved one’s mental health. The holidays are a time when some people get depressed, and overwhelmed. It is no different, or even worse for seniors who lost a spouse or friend, and are alone. Include them as much as you can, because this means more to them than you know. Your presence and showing you care can make a whirlwind of difference in their life.
St. Francis of Assisi said “for it is in giving that we receive.” Giving is one of the greatest acts we can perform. It brings others happiness, and it makes us feel good. In a world where people seek to get more than they give, be a giver. Offer your love and support to those who need it. The gift of our love and quality time is worth so much more than any material gift you give.