How to Help Senior Loved Ones Avoid Isolation This Holiday Season

The holiday season in 2020 is like no other before. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urging Americans not to travel, more people will likely stay close to home to celebrate. 

Of course, that also means that some of us will feel more lonely and isolated from loved ones. For seniors, that loneliness can feel even more acute. That’s because seniors are more vulnerable to health effects from feeling lonely. In fact, chronic loneliness is associated with a higher risk of several health conditions, including depression, diabetes, and cognitive decline, according to the National Institute on Aging.

So, if you can’t see a beloved senior family member this 2020 holiday season, what can you do to help them make positive social connections and uplift their spirits? Here are a few ideas:

1. Put Zoom to work. The wunderkind of 2020, Zoom (and other video chat services) provide a visual connection with our coworkers, friends, and family. Set up a special time to have a video chat with your senior loved one. If they don’t know how to use the technology, see if someone else can help set it up in advance. If not, perhaps you or a technology whiz you know can walk them through the process.

2. Send a card. In these days of everything digital, the idea of sending a card may get lost. However, a card could be just what your senior loved one needs to feel connected. Send a cheerful holiday card with a note or a card that features a picture of you or your family. If you’re feeling extra inspired, ask friends via social media to send additional cards to you that you can forward on to your senior loved one.

3. Watch a movie “together.” This takes some advance planning, but it can be fun. Ask your senior loved one if they have a favorite holiday movie. Make sure that both of you have a way to watch the movie. Set up a time when you both can watch the movie and be on the phone together. You can enjoy chatting or laughing together during the best parts of the movie.  

4. Send a special gift. Maybe there’s something that your senior loved one wants or needs. It could be a memento-type gift, or it could be something practical, such as socks and a new blanket. Send the gift, and ask them to open it while you’re on the phone or on video chat. That way, you can watch your senior loved one’s reaction when they open the gift, and you can talk about your sentiments behind the gift. 

5. Identify groups in their community that provide outreach and extra support. For instance, the Florida Department on Elder Affairs is working with AAA for a program this season called Together Apart: Holidays at Heart. With this free program, seniors can receive free counseling, get assistance with grocery shopping, receive check-in phone calls, and take part in healthy aging group sessions. Specific resources will vary by area. Visit the website here to find your local participating AAA organization and sign up your senior loved one.

Additionally, care management services such as Secure Aging can help identify other resources that will help your favorite senior feel less lonely this holiday season. 

Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Care Management

At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients’ age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at

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