How to Help Seniors Fight Loneliness During the Holidays

Loneliness is often experienced by seniors during the holiday season. There are ways to brighten the season for lonely and depressed seniors. The holiday season can exacerbate seniors’ feelings of loneliness. This can cause health problems and affect their quality of life. Persistent loneliness can have the same health impact as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Since loneliness can exacerbate health issues and increase the risk of mortality, it is especially important to combat isolation and feelings of loneliness during the holidays. (Forbes)

Spot the Signs of Loneliness

Many seniors do not recognize their loneliness or the health problems that feeling lonely can cause. As a result, few will voice their need for additional support. Look for these signs of loneliness among seniors:

  • Under or oversleeping
  • Withdrawal from existing relationships
  • Combativeness or moodiness
  • Depression
  • Lack of appetite
  • Anxiety over change or visitors leaving
  • Lack of interest in normal passions
  • Decreased attention to self-care

(Seniors Guide Online)

Health Risks of Loneliness

  • Loneliness can increase seniors’ risk of:
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Mortality
  • Obesity
  • Low immune health


How to Brighten the Holidays

During the holidays, many seniors feel particularly lonesome. Nostalgia, memories of lost loved ones, and distance from family can all contribute to the holiday blues. Add cheer to seasonal loneliness with strategies like these:

  • Display holiday cards and greetings
  • Set up decorations with seniors
  • Help seniors make video calls to loved ones
  • Tune in to festive TV shows and regular radio programs

Did You Know?

  • 17% of Americans over 65 live alone
  • An estimated 8.8% of seniors in America are chronically lonely
  • Americans between the ages of 57 and 85 have support from an average of only 3.6 people
  • 42% of Americans over 65 have a disability
  • Health, location, impairment, economic status, and even language can impact the risk of isolation


Tips for Fighting Loneliness

Besides holiday-specific methods for combating loneliness, there are many steps seniors can take to reduce social isolation. Seniors can:

  • Schedule regular phone calls with loved ones
  • Practice letter or card writing, even to pen pals
  • Use technology to connect with distant loved ones
  • Call The Friendship Line at 1-800-971-0016 at any hour to engage in conversation.


Home Care Tip:

Loneliness is often linked to isolation. Isolation can be a threat to health, but also can increase safety risks.  As a professional home are company, Gulfshore Private Home Care can arrange for a variety of services to help address seniors’ needs, including isolation.

Whether you are looking for a reliable nurse for different medical services, or a professional aide for personal care services, Gulfshore Home Care is here to help.  Because every client’s needs and lifestyle are different, our in-home care team will provide services specifically based on your loved one’s condition and circumstances.

We are located in the areas of Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, and Marco Island.  Please do not hesitate to give us a call at 239-249-8318

With our home health care services you will be able to live a happy, safe, and independent life. We invite you read more about us.   Every situation is unique, so to have all of your specific questions answered with personalized information from a friendly local home care expert, call 239-249-8318 now!