A Thoughtful Way to Spread Christmas Cheer
Christmas and other winter holidays are a happy and exciting time for many. They involve spending time with family and friends, celebrating the end of a year and exchanging gifts that show care and love. But for some, the holidays can bring feelings of isolation and sadness when they cannot spend time with loved ones and are not the recipients of gifts or good cheer. This often includes elderly individuals in nursing homes, whose families may live far away or are unable to visit for a variety of reasons. But there are ways that you can help to spread a little Christmas and holiday cheer to these people!
One of the best and easiest ways to let seniors know people are thinking of them and wishing them holiday cheer is to send cards. There are several organizations that coordinate sending cards to seniors, not just at Christmas, but throughout the year. Gifts for Seniors has a card program, and so does Love for Our Elders. Be sure to review the guidelines for the cards and letters to make sure you are sending ones they can accept. Sending cards and letters can be a great way to get children involved and teach them about the importance of showing care for those who may not have many others to do so.
Another great way to help senior residents around the holidays is to contact local nursing homes to ask how you can help. Each nursing home may have its own guidelines of what families or community members can do to care for its residents. Some may allow donations of games, DVDs, stationary items for residents to use to write their own cards or letters, books, or other entertainment items. Some may allow window visits for caroling or waving to wish residents a happy holiday season. Some may have a “giving tree” program where you can select a particular resident and gift them something they have wished for. Call around and see what options there are!