Houston families are in the midst of holidays – or making plans for the upcoming holiday season. However, special events and other family milestones can be difficult with the absence of a loved one.
In the United States, approximately 40 percent of the population over age 75 lives alone, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Presumably, many of these seniors are affected by the loss of a loved one and families struggle with a balance of preserving holiday traditions while recognizing their loss.
Holidays and other events are particularly painful for some because it was the special occasions that brought the families together and the family loss may be magnified at these events. Some families may opt to alter traditions and holidays in order to change the dynamic of the day. A few conversation-starter topics that family members may wish to discuss ahead of a milestone event include:
“Which family traditions are important? Which traditions should continue? Which traditions should change?”
Author Pamela Stone’s book, “A Woman’s Guide to Living Alone: 10 Ways to Survive Grief and Be Happy” suggests that preparing for special observances and holidays can help families deal with the emotional triggers that gatherings may bring on among family members.
As difficult as holiday events may be for adult children and extended family, it’s important to remember that day-to-day loneliness is an element in the surviving senior’s life. Families can help their senior by planning daily events and activities that will help reduce social isolation year-round. Also, local resources such as Houston Area Agency on Aging will welcome another participant or volunteer.
Do you have suggestions for dealing with family milestones following the loss of a loved one? Please share your ideas with our readers.
We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services in Houston, please call us at 832 379-4700 or email us. We accept most long term care insurance as payment and have a full time staff supervising more than 100 quality-trained home care personnel covering the Houston, Texas area.