THUNDER BAY, ON ------ December 10, 2011 -- For many families, the holiday season marks one of the only times of year that all members can gather together to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company. The portrait before and after this joyous time, however, is often far less picturesque for seniors living alone or far away from relatives.
As the aging population continues to grow memory loss and dementia in seniors pose a major public health burden and it’s often difficult for relatives to monitor that aging. Many times our elderly family members are not getting the level of stimulation and socialization they want and need. But there’s hope: According to a recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers have found evidence that seniors with active social lives may have slower rates of memory decline and lower mortality rates.
Given these findings, Lynn Burke, owner of Comfort Keepers®, Thunder Bay, a franchised, in-home care services provider located at 101 N. Syndicate Ave., Suite #400, in Thunder Bay, has provided the following tips for family members to address with their aging relatives this holiday season to ensure a happy and healthy time is had by all.
1. Link Up with Like Minds: Senior groups plan activities like exercise, meals, games and trips for seniors wanting to get out of the house and expand their circle of friends. Look into these groups with your relative and find one that best fits their interests.
2. Pick Up a Pen: Sending holiday cards is a wonderful way to spark a new kind of relationship between family members. Once these lines of communication have been opened, seniors will be more inclined to keep up with the correspondence long after the holiday season ends.
3. Get in the Game: Brainteasers, memory games and mathematical puzzles are not only fun but can employ areas of the brain that aren’t regularly stimulated. Try a few with your relative while you are in town and leave them with a few books or games that they can continue using after you leave.
4. Make a List and Check it Twice: Send your relative a list of possible gift ideas for other family members and review their purchases upon your arrival while helping them with wrapping. If you have the luxury of arriving prior to the holiday, accompany your relative on a shopping excursion to select the perfect presents.
5. Hire a Helping Hand: If you are still concerned your relative is not getting out or socializing enough, hiring a caregiver might just be the perfect gift this year. During the holiday season talk to your loved one about having caregivers visit them. Not only will this person be able to help with basic chores and activities but the companion will be able to provide much-needed social interaction for your loved one on a daily, weekly or live-in basis.
About Comfort Keepers®
Comfort Keepers® is a leading franchise network in the in-home care market for senior and other adults needing care. Since its founding in 1998, the network has grown to more than 600 franchised locations around the world by staying true to the founders' goal of providing quality, caring in-home care services that allow clients the opportunity to age in place. In August of 2009, the brand was strengthened even further by the purchase of the franchisor, CK Franchising, Inc., by Sodexo, one of the world's leading food and facilities management services companies and the global leader in the health care and seniors markets. For more information, visit www.comfortkeepers.com.