For most people, the New Year signifies reflection on the year past and hope for the future year. However, for some people, the New Year is not an exciting cause for celebration. For some elderly people, it can be difficult to come to terms with the loss of the previous year and have hope for the new one. If this is the case for a loved one of yours that is experiencing health issues and living in a nursing home or needs the assistance of a home health aide, there are some ways in which you can lift their spirits and help them look forward to the year that is ahead.
Coping with Loss
Loss can strike us at any time in our lives, but for the elderly, it tends to happen more frequently. Your loved one may have lost a spouse, a close friend, or a family member recently. If this is the case, they might be dealing with depression and grief. These emotions might make it difficult to look forward to the New Year. You can help your loved one through loss by:
- Commemorating the life of the recently deceased. There are many ways in which you can go about doing this. You can plan a memorial for your loved one’s friend, encourage your loved one to write a biography or obituary for the deceased, or create a video or photo montage of the deceased’s life. These gestures can help your loved one work through their emotions. Then, they can come to terms with what has happened.
- Help your loved one through creative work. Talking, writing, drawing, and creating music, are all creative ways in which your loved one can express themselves. If your loved one enjoys one of these activities, you should encourage them to use it as a cathartic experience.
- Seek professional help. If you notice that your loved one is seriously depressed or unable to move on, you should consider seeking the help of a psychiatrist or therapist.
To help your loved one get excited about the New Year, you can do the following:
- Set up a regular visiting routine. If your loved one lives in a nursing home, they might feel lonely. Remind them that you care and will make an effort to keep in touch. Also, setting up weekly phone calls or a monthly visit will give your loved one something to look forward to.
- Make plans to take your loved one out of the nursing home. Your loved one will not lose access to Medicare for leaving the nursing home for a short period of time. Plan special occasions where your loved one can leave the home for a few hours. This will give your loved one something to look forward to.
These are just a few ways in which you can help your loved one get excited about the New Year and put the last year in the past. If you have a tip of your own, feel free to leave it in the comment section.