5 Practical ways to help the elderly this Christmas

Christmas can be a difficult time for elderly people as they are more likely to suffer from limited mobility and declining health, meaning they can often feel left out of the festivities. We’ve put together a list of 5 ways we can all help an elderly relative, friend or neighbour during the holidays so they can actually enjoy the time of year and not spend it alone. 

1)    Help them put up Christmas decorations

The twinkling lights, pretty baubles and the fresh scent of the tree are some of the best things about Christmas for many of us and we look forward to getting the familiar decorations out each year. For some elderly people, particularly those who suffer with mobility issues, decorating for Christmas can be physically difficult and some see it as pointless if they are spending the holidays alone. One way you can help bring festive cheer to your elderly relative, neighbour or friend is to help them decorate their home. By making it into an event, not only will you leave them surrounded by the comfort of Christmas but you’re also spending quality time with someone who may not have much company usually. 

2)    Accompany them to the shops

Another practicality many of us take for granted at Christmas is the ability to pop out to the shops to buy our loved ones gifts and complete the big Christmas food shop. If possible, ask someone who is older to come along to the high street or supermarket with you, giving them the chance to socialise and get their Christmas shopping done at the same time. It’s not always possible for an older person to spend a long time on their feet so if they’d feel more comfortable staying at home, you could help with a spot of online shopping instead. 

3)    Offer to help write Christmas cards

Writing Christmas cards can be a difficult task for the elderly, especially those with arthritis, so they may need a little extra help. Offering to write their cards for them and, if they need you to, reading the cards they have received aloud, is a fun activity that helps them stay connected with their loved ones. If you’re both so inclined, why not turn it into a fun craft activity and make your own cards to send?

4)    Take them out to local Christmas events

During the holidays, communities often put on several local events such as light parades, Christmas markets, community lunches and choir services. If there’s something on near you, why not take your elderly loved one along with you? As counterintuitive as it may seem, if someone is feeling lonely, they’re less likely to attend such activities by themselves. So, having someone encourage them to go will help give them the confidence they need to take part and enjoy the festivities. 

5)    Invite them over for Christmas day

According to Age UK, hundreds of thousands of elderly people in the UK will spend Christmas day alone this year. No one wants to be on their own for the big day itself so if it’s possible, invite an elderly relative, friend or neighbour over to spend some time with you on the day. Whether it’s for the whole day, for Christmas lunch or a quick cup of tea and slice of cake, including an elderly person in your day will mean the world to them and means they won’t have to be alone. If it’s not practical for them to make it to your house, make some time in the day to pop over to them to exchange presents or mince pies!  

Nestled in the beautiful New Forest town of Fordingbridge, Hampshire, Allenbrook Nursing and Residential Care Home provides elderly people with all the care, support, companionship and security they need to live life to the full. To find out more, please contact our friendly team today on 01425 656589