Once the presents are ripped open and the food is consumed, my mama can’t wait to get her tree down and just get her whole life back to normal. But mama has daddy. For those who live alone, getting past the holidays can be lonely.
Once January hits, so does the cold weather with its gloom. That’s when all the holiday activities are over and for those who live alone, they are often left alone. The younger generation goes back to work and tries to recuperate from all the holiday events. It often doesn’t leave a lot of time to visit with our elderly loved ones. Be aware that winter can be very hard on older people who are sensitive to the cold. Many have given up driving and depend on others for company and grocery trips.
Even if you’re really busy, it doesn’t take a lot of time to give your folks a call on the phone. Encourage your family members to take a little time to check on the older folks. Make sure they have enough food in the kitchen and they’re keeping warm. Remember, older folks have the highest rate of hypothermia and are often on a fixed income.
The Ordeal of Winter
My mother stays active during the winter and often enjoys working outside in the yard. Daddy on the other hand would rather hibernate. His small TV room would roast most people, including me. Mama has to encourage him to stretch his legs and come outside once the day is warmer. Again, for those who live alone the winter can be a long ordeal with no one to get them out.
If you are the mover and shaker in your family, perhaps you could give “assignments” to the rest of your clan. Get those grandkids with wheels a mission to visit granddad or granny at least once a week. Be determined to take your mom or dad out to church services or just out to lunch a couple of times a month. It will do them so much good.
I try to take mama some Mexican food once in a while. Daddy’s not a fan but mama loves the change in menu and the fact that she doesn’t have to cook it! Everyone loves to have people bring food even if it’s a pot of soup they can warm up when they get hungry.
This year I got mama a subscription to “The Good old Days” magazine. Having reading material around is a great way to keep anyone’s mind a little sharper and perhaps they won’t get bored or feel lonely. A trip once in a while to the library or book store can be a great outing for your older loved one. Make sure they come home with a good book or two. Don’t take “no” for an answer.
Keeping Christmas Spirit Alive
Many communities have phone buddies who will call your loved one once a day to check in on them. This will help all of you who live a long way from your folks. If the phone buddy can’t get a hold of them, they make sure they get a “well check” from themselves or police volunteers.
Meals-on-Wheels are not just a way to make sure someone eats but to also make sure they are checked on once a day. I applaud the group in my home town who feed so many each and every week day. My kids and I loved volunteering to take the elders meals when they were young.
I hope all your holidays were wonderful and you got to spend some great time with your older loved ones. Keep that spirit going especially through the winter months.