Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many families are taking precautions to protect the health and safety of themselves and their loved ones. This includes being faced with changing or cancelling holiday plans. Senior and immunocompromised individuals have the most social restrictions during this time. Because of these factors, many seniors might start feeling the full weight of a holiday season that is completely unlike years past.

From recognizing signs of depression to finding safe alternative ways to celebrate, learn more about what you can do to support your senior loved ones during the 2020 holiday season.

Look for Signs of Depression

The holidays can already be difficult for seniors – combined with the pandemic, this time can be even more challenging to navigate. It’s important to check in on your loved ones often. From coping with changing traditions to not being able to see extended family, dealing with loneliness and more, the holiday season can leave many seniors feeling blue – however, feeling blue isn’t the same as depression.

Senior loneliness during the holidays, seasonal depression, and holiday depression in the elderly are all prevalent concerns to be mindful of. Knowing how to recognize the signs of depression can help you get your loved ones the help that they need. Common signs of depression to look for include persistent sadness, feelings of worthlessness, losing interest in things they once enjoyed, frequent tearfulness, changes in appetite and weight, and changes in sleep patterns. Do you know a senior or another family member who is showing these signs of depression? ​Find resources to help.

Visit & Call

If you are able to, be sure to set aside time to safely visit your loved ones over the holiday season. While that might mean wearing face masks and taking efforts to stay physically distanced, your loved ones will appreciate the effort to connect. Many families are avoiding larger gatherings for the holidays, but one-on-one time with family can also be great!

If your loved ones are not having any visitors during this time in an effort to protect their health, a phone call is the next best thing! Show the seniors in your life that you care by calling them on a regular basis just to chat. Set up a time each week to call or check in. Having a conversation is also the best way to gauge how they are feeling and better understand their needs. Another good way to stay connected is sending a note. Send a friendly note to your loved ones at Copeland Oaks and let them know you’re there.

Bring Traditions to Them

What are some of the things that you enjoyed doing over the holiday season with your loved ones? While your family’s traditions might look a little bit different this year, it’s still important to find ways to protect them!

If grandma loved baking holiday cookies with her family but can’t this year, why not deliver a batch of your freshly baked cookies to her doorstep! Have a tradition of decorating ornaments? Send your loved ones some homemade ornaments along with the supplies they need to create matching ones! Holiday meals might only include members of your household this year, but that doesn’t mean grandma and grandpa have to be left out. Drop off a plate or two and some dessert! Finding little ways to keep traditions going are one way to lift the spirits of the seniors in your life this holiday season.

Next Steps

While the holidays can fly by, it’s important to keep in mind that this time can be difficult for seniors. Start planning out ways that you can check in on your loved ones and make them feel supported and cared for this holiday season. A little bit of love goes a long way!

Not sure how to best meet the needs of your senior loved ones this holiday season? We can help! ​Contact us today​ – our team has experience with planning events and fun activities for seniors that are also safe. We can also provide guidance for what to do if you think your loved one is showing signs of depression.