Guest post by DCF Northwest Regional Managing Director Vicki Abrams
Ms. Jennings sat in her wheelchair in the nursing home, looking a little misty eyed as she saw holiday decorations around her. Her husband of 61 years had passed three years earlier and her twin sister died last year. She felt very alone.
Suddenly her face perked up – she saw two big smiles on little faces coming towards her. Her two grandchildren, ages 3 and 6, had come to visit her. Their parents had arms full of presents and holiday treats. Her eyes filled with tears as she embraced her grandchildren.
The holidays give us a wonderful time to come together as families and friends, sharing memories and good tidings. But for many older and disabled adults, the holiday season can be a lonely, stressful and even depressing time.
Here are just a few ways to help the elderly and vulnerable adults during the holiday season.
- Spending quality time strolling down memory lane with loved ones
- Talking with and listening to elders in nursing homes and assisted living facilities
- Helping with holiday shopping or hanging seasonal decorations
- Bringing holiday treats or preparing a special meal
- Helping out with home repairs or routine chores
- Making sure elders have warm clothes and proper heating and air
- Helping children to make handmade holiday cards for elders and delivering them to nursing homes
This week, escorted by Santa Claus himself, Senior Santa volunteers in Panama City will deliver handmade holiday cards from area children to local nursing homes, distribute gifts donated by Jerry Wilson’s Roofing and Charlie Coram’s Place and delight residents with traditional holiday carols and food.
Connect with an elder family member or friend this holiday season. To help people outside your family, contact local nursing homes to see how you might be able to bring a little holiday joy to residents this season. Even little acts of kindness will surely be greatly appreciated.