Be of good cheer. Get in the holiday spirit. Celebrate! It all sounds great but, as the years go by, it may not be so easy. In fact, for older adults living alone in an empty house, and especially those who have lost their spouse, holiday stress can overshadow any joyful moments. That’s why considering a move to senior living before the holidays might be a great idea.
What’s behind all the holiday stress?
Much of the magic of the holidays is tied to how “perfect” they are supposed to be: perfectly wrapped presents under the tree, perfect cookies waiting for Santa, perfect evenings with those you love most, and of course, a perfect bit of snow to make everything beautiful.
“Perfect” is rarely (if ever) the reality… especially for a senior who might be dreading the whole season. Consider these sources of holiday stress for older adults:
- Unable to decorate or take part. Climbing into the attic or basement to find and carry decorations isn’t a good idea for anyone, especially an older adult. It’s downright dangerous. Even just hanging lights or trimming a tree can lead to an injury. That’s why so many older adults just don’t bother to do it anymore, causing them to miss out on some of the joys of the season.
- Grief over loss. Losing a spouse is tough enough; add the holidays and it can really be a hard time for a senior to cope. Memories of past celebrations can make the pain even more acute. And there is only so much you and your siblings can do to ease the situation.
- Alone for the big moments. It’s not much fun to be alone on Christmas Eve, or to miss seeing grandkids open gifts, or not be able to get to cherished rituals like a late-night religious service. Too much time alone is a hazard to a person’s mental and physical health. It’s especially tough during the holiday season.
- Missing friends and neighbors who have moved away. Neighborhoods change. Friends relocate or pass away. Your parent might feel especially isolated if they are spending most of the holidays on their own or just with family. Being around their peers can make a big difference.
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Instead of one more year of lonely holidays, consider a move to senior living before it all begins
Why try to recreate the “perfect” holiday season one more time in your parents’ home, when making a move now could bring back the joy of the season, as well as a new sense of freedom and enjoyment all year long?
Here’s a few ways senior living can beat holiday stress:
- Great friends for sharing special moments. Surrounded by like-minded adults who are eager to enjoy the season, Mom or Dad can truly bask in the glow of happy holidays. Singing carols with the group. Sharing photos of grandchildren with Santa. Reminiscing over dinner and making new friends. Everywhere they turn, there will be someone with a smile.
- Beautiful decorations make the spirit soar. Twinkling lights and tinsel are much more beautiful when you’re not the one on the ladder trying to hang it! In a senior living setting, residents can sit back and take in festive lights, decorations and more, anytime they like—without crawling in the attic or basement to find them.
- The comfort of being around those who understand a holiday can be tough. Especially if it is the first holiday without a husband or wife, being around someone of a similar age and background can make a world of difference. Your parent can receive support that makes it easier to navigate the emotions they are feeling, so that holiday stress loses its impact.
- Good food and great ways to be involved. You can be sure your parents will enjoy special holiday menus in a senior living community. In fact, just knowing they don’t have the holiday stress of trying to put together a huge meal, or the disappointment of not being able to travel across the country to join family for a traditional meal is something to celebrate.
When you look at the whole picture, you might just agree that a move to senior living could be the most loving gift your parents could receive.
Senior living, the LSS Senior Living way
At LSS Senior Living, our goal is to offer seniors quality care and comfort in a friendly and warm environment that feels like home. We offer a continuum of services to lend a helping hand when you need them. Find out more about our communities: