5274 Scotts Valley Dr #102 Scotts Valley, CA 95066 831-430-0616 www.VisitingAngels.com/SantaCruz 229 Reindollar Ave., Suite E Marina, CA 93933 831-392-0876 www.VisitingAngels.com/Monterey
Acknowledging the Unspoken How We Can Help Seniors Find Joy in the New Year
One January many years ago, I surprised my grandma by showing up on her doorstep. When she opened her door and gasped, I swear I never saw so much joy in a person’s eyes — after the shock wore off, of course. We enjoyed a delightful long weekend together, and I know my visit meant so much to her.
unspoken. To avoid being perceived as a burden, few seniors are willing to admit they feel depressed. However, just
asking a loved one how they are doing and encouraging them to talk about their feelings can do a world of good. They might not be
When my grandmother retired, her world became a lot smaller. She no longer saw the women she used to go to lunch with, and she
“This time of year, it’s important for both professional caretakers and
willing to share, but the knowledge that their sense of well- being is a priority can help a person feel noticed and loved. The new year is also a great time to plan a trip for seniors to look forward to — maybe a short road trip to visit an old friend, a vacation to a warmer climate, or an extended stay with distant relatives. When I surprised my grandma, I convinced her to visit me later that year and helped buy her plane tickets before I went back home. Our Visiting Angels are excellent when it comes to helping seniors through this post-holiday depression. They can plan trips to museums to help seniors stay mentally engaged, accompany them on walks so they can stay physically active, and help seniors identify volunteer opportunities so they can continue to be active in the community. A wonderful quote from Carl W. Buehner states, “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” It doesn’t take much to make a difference in a person’s life. As we enter the new year, I encourage everyone to make a resolution to remember the little ways we can help the seniors in our lives feel loved all year long.
no longer heard new stories about work or the strangers she met while going about her day. Though she kept busy with gardening, reading, and needlepoint, her world changed so much that she grew quite depressed. These feelings of depression grew stronger after the holidays, as is the case for many seniors. After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, a lull in life starts to descend. This lull is often felt most keenly by seniors, who can feel isolated this time of year. Their families have gone back home to their busy lives, and there are few things to look forward to in the long winter months. This, combined with physical limitations, can cause seniors to experience feelings of loneliness and depression. This time of year, it’s important for both professional caretakers and family members to acknowledge the family members to acknowledge the unspoken.”
Cindy Saunders, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
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