Tips for supporting the elderly in our community during Christmas

For many, Christmas is a happy time of year filled with plenty of loving family gatherings, extra time to see friends and, best of all, an excuse to eat all sorts of delicious food. However, seniors within our community often may not have the same experience. As you get older, the loss of loved ones or the possibility of family living far away can make the festive season a tough time.

To help those around you to experience the magic of Christmas, reach out to seniors and offer them a little extra care and comfort.

Check in on your elderly neighbours

It might seem like an obvious suggestion, but the easiest way to support the elderly community is by regularly checking in on them. If you have an elderly neighbour or are aware of seniors in your community that may need a little extra support over Christmas, stop by their home or give them a call. Perhaps see if they might like to have lunch or if they need any help with any tasks such as shopping, cleaning or home maintenance.

Simple acts of kindness can go a long way to making people feel less alone during times when everyone else is surrounded by friends and family. If you’re unsure of whether someone might need help, you can also contact local churches and community groups and ask them if they know of anyone that needs a hand.

Help with festive tasks or shopping

There’s something to be said for how much Christmas decorations can lift your mood. Reach out to seniors around you and ask them what they’re doing about decorations this year and offer to help by picking up a tree or helping to put up lights and tinsel around their home. Don’t forget to let them know that they can also rely on you to help them take the decorations down when they’re ready so that they aren’t worried about the cleaning process.

Many people in the elderly community can also struggle with organising other aspects of their Christmas shopping. From picking up groceries to buying cards and presents for friends and relatives, Christmas shopping can be a lot of work for someone who is completely fit and healthy, let alone someone with decreasing mobility. You can offer to take seniors with you during your own Christmas shopping, or ask them if they want you to pick up some bits and pieces to lighten their load.

Volunteer with a local charity

There are plenty of charities that could use your help supporting the elderly community during the festive season. Many large-scale aid organisations close over this period of time, so it’s best to contact local charities and see what they might need. Participating in food drives and soup kitchens, for seniors who might not have the funds to cover a celebratory meal, is a great way to ensure everyone experiences some Christmas cheer.

Offer to drive an elderly person to their church or community centre

When you have limited mobility or no one to go with, it can be hard to work up the energy to want to go to local Christmas events. However, there are often plenty of great things on offer, from Christmas markets and church services to community lunches and coffee mornings. People in the elderly community often just need the motivation and help to attend.

If you have elderly neighbours or know of someone who might be struggling, ask them if they have any events they were hoping to take part in. Alternatively, if they’re not sure, you can have a look at what outings are coming up and offer to take them. Simply lending a bit of time and attention can often make all the difference.

Helping spread the festive spirit

Many thousands in our elderly community face Christmas alone each year, but this can change with active measures to ensure everyone gets to partake in seasonal celebrations. Giving time to others benefits the whole community more than you might think!