Loneliness is the biggest theory behind elderly dying during the holidays. The following article talks about ways to prevent loneliness during the holidays. https://www.agingcare.com/articles/elderly-loneliness-during-holidays-148441.htm There was a great commercial by a German company in 2015 that highlights this phenomenon. The man in the video fakes his death to get his family together for the holidays. It is an extreme measure to take but obliviously in his case it worked out. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4_B6wQMd2eI
People have this notion that as long as their loved ones are with others, they are not experiencing loneliness. While this may well be the case for some, others yearn to be around their family members especially during the holidays. No one can take the place of a child or grandchild. People inherently want to be part of a family. Some things you can do with an elderly person to combat loneliness are visit regularly, bring children to visit as most elderly love children; ask them to help you with something they used to do and are proficient with. These could include quilting, needlework, carpentry and some other type of hobby. All people like to feel like they still have something to contribute. Asking them for help will make them feel needed and worthy.
I know with my own mother, I’ve noticed she really wants to be around family much more now that she is elderly. We are fortunate to be close and try to involve her in a lot of our day-to-day events.
At Argent Court, we have established our own traditions in all of our communities to fight the battle of loneliness such as programs that encourage new friendships and encourage residents to stay involved in the community. But in the end, the only thing that matters to our residents are the relationships with their families. We can do a lot but nothing takes the place of families which is why we strive to have programs that include families as much as possible.
I hope that you will resolve this year to make more time for your elderly family members not just during the holidays but all during the year. Happy New Year from all of us at Argent Court.