Charleston, W.Va. – We all have an image in our minds of a ‘perfect’ holiday season. The family gathered around the table, matching pajamas, holiday cards, and festive food, fun, and laughter. While much joy surrounds us throughout the holiday season, for some, the holidays look very different.
For some, being alone at the holidays may be a choice, but for many aging adults it is not. There may be a recent loss of a loved one or a mobility challenge in getting out the door or traveling. One’s family may live too far away or there may be no family at all. Financial circumstances may make travel too expensive. And, in some cases, they may be struggling just to make ends meet.
How can you help make this holiday season a little sweeter? Consider these five simple ways you can check in on your neighbors and make their season brighter:
- For neighbors who are 60 years of age or older, check out the hours for the local senior center in your area. Many senior centers will host a holiday party and meal. Senior centers are a great place to connect and engage socially with others. For a list of senior centers in your area, click here (br-wv.org)
- A handwritten letter, a phone call, or a visit might be just the thing they need this season. The holidays can be a very lonely time. Just knowing someone cares enough can be very uplifting.
- An invite to dinner or ask if you may deliver dinner to them. If you are not cooking or at home, this can be done in advance.
- For some aging adults, signing up for Meals on Wheels might be a great way to receive, not just a holiday meal, but meals consistently throughout the week. Check with your local senior center to find out more information.
- Assist with shopping or decorating for the season. As you unpack holiday decorations take time to ask questions and hear stories of family and memories of past holidays.
West Virginians are kind people with hearts of gold. You may already check on your elderly neighbors, provide transportation to the grocery store, or help them with home or yard maintenance. Those gifts keep on giving all year long!
If you have an aging neighbor/friend or are caring for an aging family member and are looking for additional resources that can help, check out Bridging Resources West Virginia at br-wv.org or call the WV Aging and Disability Resources Center at 866-981-2372. Our team of compassionate professionals is here to help.