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How to Support an Elderly Relative this Christmas

3 December 2020 No Comment

Christmas is approaching, which for many of us means lots of food, fun and festivities. However, Christmas is looking different this year. Cases of Covid are still high, which means that we will have to socially distance and take extra care. This is especially important among the most vulnerable in society, which includes the elderly. 

While Christmas will feel unusual and you might not get to spend it with your elderly relatives, it’s important to ensure that you still support them. Here are some ways to do so. 

Ease financial pressure

Christmas can be a financially difficult time for all of us. And, with most elderly people being retired, finances can be a struggle. We often feel pressure to buy expensive gifts that aren’t necessary. So, support your elderly relative by assuring them that they don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on gifts this year. 

You can also help ease financial pressure by encouraging them to get all the financial support they’re entitled to. Some veterans, for example, aren’t aware they might qualify for VA disability compensation. Use this VA Calculator to work out if they’re owed anything and figure out the next steps with them, if necessary. This year has been tough enough without additional financial struggles. Get them what they are owed.  

Socially distanced visits

It’s a sad and upsetting fact that you might not be able to celebrate Christmas with your elderly relative this year. Doing so could put their life at risk. However, chances are that this might make your elderly relative feel down and excluded. Isolation is common among the elderly, and it can be particularly tough over the holiday season. So, ensure your relative feels loved and included by taking a socially distanced visit to their house. Waving through the window and having a chat will lift their spirits and help them to feel festive. You could maybe even bring them some festive snacks, too. The little things mean a lot.

Get them online

With isolation being such a serious concern this Christmas, the internet could be a huge help. Being able to communicate with friends and family virtually is important, and will help your elderly relative to feel included. However, technology often doesn’t come easy to those who didn’t grow up with it. You might need to help get them set up and talk them through the process. There are plenty of guides that help older people get to grips with computers and phones, and can be delivered via post. Being able to video call your elderly relative will help spread festive cheer – and you’ll feel less worried about them, too. 

Listen

The best way to support an elderly relative is to listen to their concerns. Don’t make assumptions. We all want to be heard, so take the time to have meaningful conversations and ask questions. A phone call every few days will ensure that your elderly relative is coping.  

 

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