For many, the holiday season is a special time of year, marked by festive celebrations with family and friends. It is a time to look ahead with excitement to the New Year. However, the holidays can also be a difficult time for many struggling with loss, ill health, or for those who have not seen family during this period of extended isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Families will need to take a different approach to planning this year, to keep their loved ones safe and connected, especially if they have some form of cognitive decline or Dementia. At a time often guided by tradition, finding a way that feels right given our new social distancing guidelines, and changing family circumstances, certainly requires some creative thinking.
Adaptation is the key in life. Being able to connect to old traditions and memories while placing value on present life circumstances is the objective. Having a plan ahead of time as to what you will be doing during the holidays is what is most advantageous. Here are some suggestions:
- Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
- If planning to be alone for the holidays, consider volunteering your time- so much can be done by phone, and so many people need the extra support.
- Think of something you can make inexpensively for a nearby family in need.
- Be mindful that it is not necessary or beneficial to include a person with Dementia in every family holiday event. It can be overwhelming for them.
- Intergenerational time can be so valuable during the holidays, connect with adult children via FaceTime or Zoom.
Creating the “essence” of the holiday is often more valuable than focusing on specific rituals. It only takes a moment to create a lasting memory.
However, despite the best of intentions and efforts, many seniors will face periods of isolation, loneliness and depression throughout the holidays and winter months. The good news is there is professional help more readily available than ever before. As a result of pandemic restrictions, healthcare guidelines have changed recently, allowing some healthcare providers the ability to offer Medicare covered, phone-only counseling “visits” to help seniors cope with these challenges. Elder Life Management, a leader in senior service delivery, is proud to offer a Medicare-approved telehealth program, which allows us to speak by phone with anyone facing these issues, right from the comfort of their own home. Phone sessions are comparable to face-to-face sessions as the same conversations takes place, and the same issues are addressed. The phone calls are led by a licensed professional who not only addresses underlying issues, but also creates a connection with the client where a meaningful relationship develops, which is so important to mental health and well-being.
You don’t have to live with isolation, anxiety or depression – we can help.
Elder Life Management – We Have Solutions!
Call us: 732.493.8080
Visit us online: www.ElderLifeManagement.org