Caregivers encouraged to share holiday cheer with seniors

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — For some it is the most wonderful time of the year, but for our older loved ones, the holidays can be a time of sadness and loss.

Russell Renfroe from Visiting Angels joined Wake Up Alabama Thursday morning to talk more about this.

Holidays can be tough for seniors because many have experienced loss, and may reflect on those who won’t be with them for the holidays. Additionally some may have spouses that have dementia or Alzheimer’s or even illness and old age can make it seem difficult to participate in a traditional holiday activity.

It is important that caregivers help out by decorating and avoiding sad memories of the past, instead creating new traditions and memories. Caregivers can also help seniors mail out holiday cards, bake old favorites, do the grocery shopping and errands for those they are caring for, or help arrange holiday travel.

Renfroe also showed off a box of “senior holiday cheer,” which he recommends caregivers prepare for their senior family members.

The box could be filled with a phot album, holiday cookies or candy, ornaments, adult coloring books, or gift cards. Photos are essential, as a UCLA study found that looking at a photo of a loved one can help reduce pain. Gift cards can be used to plan a day out at the senior’s favorite lunch spot or coffee shop.

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