As the holidays fast approach, and we busy ourselves with the activity of the season, I wonder about those seniors that are shut ins, frail, disabled or don't have family and friends to connect with. Sometimes we get so caught up in the holidays, shopping, cooking and family time that we forget that there are so many who don't have the opportunity to experience or enjoy these things we take for granted simply becuase of circumstance. for many seniors, the holidays can bring isolation, depression and related health issues. It can be a time when you feel your losses the most as we all tend to think back to happier times with those we have lost.
So what can we do to help? If you know a senior in your community or network, stop by and ask what they are doing for the holidays. If it seems that they are alone and isloated, invite them to share in your own celebrations or those happening in your/their community. If they can't leave their home, offer to provide a meal for the holidays. If you have a senior relative that lives far away, see if you can use technology to connect with them. Do they have a computer that you can skype them on? If not, a phone call will suffice. It's feeling that sense of connection and caring that they may yearn for most. Even if you dont know a senior or are not close to anyone that is alone and isolated, you can still make a difference in someone's life. Visit your local retirement home or nursing home during the holidays and spend some time visiting with people who do not have family. With the major focus on commercialism and the physical act of 'gift giving' we often lose sight fo the fact that the gift of companionship and friendship is the most valuable thing you can give someone else.