Seniors: A Cure for Holiday Loneliness

Dec 17th, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Shopping is almost done, presents are under the tree, garlands are hung, candles await lighting, Christmas music is serenading, the fireplace is lit, but no guests are expected.  Everybody in the family lives too far away or have other commitments.  Most local friends are away for the holiday. What to do? 

Planning for a lonely free holiday requires planning ahead.  We may be already too late.  But, let’s look at some options.

*Do you remember that family who lost a child in the year past?  They attend church every Sunday and sit a few rows ahead of you.  How about calling them and inviting them over for a few hours during the season.  You will address your loneliness and likely stem theirs’ as well. 

*How about your hair dresser who is on a limited income and a solo parent?  She might need a mother or grandmother figure this year.    

*Consider the patient who returns home just before Christmas from a hospital stay.  Could you offer support, perhaps a meal, a drop in call with offerings of assistance for him and his caretaker?

*What about the elderly couple down the street who have no family coming for the holidays?  Might you invite them over for the day?  Perhaps you could alleviate their loneliness and yours. 

*How about the widowed man you have observed now and again?  Would you be comfortable enough inviting him for coffee, out or at your home?  Perhaps it could be the start of a meaningful relationship. 

*Then there is a potpourri of possibilities: serving at a homeless shelter, inviting those 3 single ladies over for holiday treats and a game, volunteering to participate in one of the activities at church or in the community.  The possibilities are as numerous as your courage and imagination.

“Only you have the power within you to stop the rain and turn the tide,” said Andrew Lloyd Webber in “Starlight Express.”  You can decide to turn the tide of loneliness this year for you as well as for others.



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