Long-distance Christmas celebrations with the elderly

Christmas is a time for family but it can be difficult to spend time with them if you or they live far away, so we’ve come up with some ideas of how you can keep your elderly loved-ones and friends involved with the celebrations from a long distance.

Send video messages

While a phone call is pleasant for an elderly person to receive, seeing you in person on a video message or face time call is just that extra bit special. If you can get your elderly friend or loved-one set up with a phone or tablet then you can share video messages or face time calls in the run up to and on the big day.

Although you might be miles apart, still being able to take, even if in a virtual sense, is a great way to reduce social isolation. You can read more about the benefits of social media and how it can help the elderly here.

Send Christmas cards and letters

If your elderly loved-one or friend is more traditional then you could send a Christmas card and letter full of all the latest news and goings on in yours and your family’s lives. Not only will they enjoy having something to read and treasure, they can then put pen to paper themselves and send a response.

Many elderly people enjoy receiving post and having something to look forward to reading, so you could continue writing to one another long into the New Year.

Thoughtful gifts

Gifts for your loved-one are always a nice way to show you care – why not send a photo album of all the best memories you’ve shared together or put together a care package of essential items they might need during the cold weather. We’ve put together a list of items you could include here.

Make sure they have somewhere to go or someone to see on Christmas Day

If you’re not able to visit your elderly relative or friend during the Christmas period, it’s important to make sure you contact them regularly via telephone or social media and if possible, arrange for neighbours, friends, carers or other family members to pop in on them.

If they are going to be spending Christmas Day alone, it might be an idea to research local community centres or groups that are holding get togethers for the elderly so they’re able to spend time with people and enjoy the celebrations.