19Dec2016

Keep Seniors Connected for the Holidays

The holiday season can bring happiness and cheer, but it can also bring stress, sadness and loneliness.  For seniors, the latter can be especially true if they are separated geographically from friends and family.  Fortunately, there are many ways to combat senior isolation or melancholy.  We’ve compiled some of the best tactics we could find with hopes of brightening the holidays for seniors that may be feeling alone this year.

  • Be a good listener. This is one of the easiest things to do for any seniors in your life.  Seniors that are feeling alone during the holidays appreciate having their memories, thoughts, and feelings validated by a friendly listening ear.

 

  • Create a private family blog. This one may be more time consuming, but it is a great way to chronicle what is going on with various family members – with the added bonus of preserving new memories and keeping senior loved ones involved and in the loop.

  • Consider making new traditions. If a senior loved one is far from family during the holidays, consider breaking from what might be considered traditional celebrations in your family.  Host a virtual holiday party online/over the phone with out of town relatives.  Check out this blog post from theworkathomewoman.com for some great ideas.  Though it is geared toward a virtual office party, there is no reason the ideas can’t be tweaked to work for seniors and their families.

 

  • Send snail mail. Hand written notes and care packages can go a long way towards making seniors feel special during the busy holiday season.  It’s a quick an easy way to make sure they know you’re thinking of them.

 

  • Suggest they connect with others in similar circumstances. Chances are, if there’s a senior in your life that is feeling lonely, there will be others in the same community facing the same situation.  Coordinate a dinner or luncheon for those with family and friends that aren’t local. This can help alleviate feelings of remoteness or withdrawal they may be feeling.

  • Encourage a visit to the app store. There are numerous apps that can make seniors feel engaged during the holidays.  Skype is just the beginning.  There are holiday countdowns, virtual advent calendars, holiday wallpapers, and even apps that allow you to decorate virtual Christmas trees.  You can also encourage family members to go to this website and easily create a video of each other as dancing elves and share them with each other.  It’s a great way to engage family members near and far.

However you choose to spend your holidays, ESCO wishes you the best!

 

12Dec2016

ESCO’s Santa for a Senior Success

Three years ago, two ESCO employees came up with an idea to help out some seniors in communities we were partnered with.  Fueled entirely by internal employee donations, 2014’s drive produced 32 gift bags for seniors in need of holiday cheer.  The second year showed a modest improvement and 40 gift bags were assembled and distributed between two communities.  This year, those numbers were blown right out of the water.

Thanks to a combined effort of ESCO’s leadership and employees’ generous donations, we managed to fill a grand total of 240 gift bags for seniors in need this year!

Here’s a peak at the inside of one of the 240 gift bags ESCO’s elves filled for seniors…

inside-bag

And here are a couple of ESCO elves in action, filling bags and sorting gifts!

filling-bags

 

All told, we were able to make gift bags for 14 different senior living communities.  We asked each community to choose their residents most in need of a holiday pick me up, whether they receive our services or not, and let them know that we are thinking of them and want them to have the best holiday season possible.  The gifts will be shipped out (or hand delivered if locations permits) later this week.

We look forward to making next year’s Santa for Seniors program even bigger.  We believe that every senior should feel important during the busy holiday season, and strive to give our communities the best customer service possible.  If you’d like more information about ESCO’s Santa for Seniors program, click here.  We’d love to hear from you!

5Dec2016

Cold Weather Safety Tips for Seniors

snow-on-tree

The holidays are upon us and with them comes the inevitable cold weather.  The extreme temps affect us all, but seniors are more vulnerable to the cold and need to take some extra precautions to stay safe.  We’ve put together a few tips and tricks for seniors to stay safe and healthy this winter.  Feel free to share it with any seniors you may have in your life!

  • Remember, seniors are more vulnerable to cold weather. They can lose body heat more quickly, and are at greater risk of hypothermia.  For more information on seniors and hypothermia risks, read this great booklet from the National Institute on Aging.  And keep this crucial information in mind from HealthinAging.org:

“Older people tend to shiver less or not at all when their body temperature drops.”

  • Dress in thin layers. From HealthinAging.org’s Winter Safety Tips for Older Adults: “Wearing 2 or 3 thinner layers of loose-fitting clothing is warmer than a single layer of thick clothing.”  Layering can help ward off hypothermia when seniors are going to be outdoors for extended periods of time.seniors-in-jackets
  • Be prepared while traveling. Make sure to keep an extra blanket in the car.  You never know when extenuating circumstances may necessitate pulling over and turning off the car – and cutting off the heat supply.
  • Protect your skin.  Seniors need to keep their skin moisturized, especially in the winter time.  As the Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens, Inc. points out on their Cold Weather Tips for Seniors,

“As we age our skin becomes thinner and drier, thus more prone to tears. Keep the dangers of dryness low by using a humidifier to keep your air moist, drink plenty of water and eat foods high in water content like soups and vegetables, and moisturize your skin daily with creams and lotions.”

  • Protect yourself from slipping on the ice. Choose shoes with good traction and consider a cane tip like this one when walking outdoors in the winter.

footprints-in-the-snow

  • Combat social isolation. Make sure to stay connected with friends and family.  The days are shorter and the dreary weather can cause some people to feel depressed or sad.  It’s hard for some seniors to travel in the winter, but modern technology can bring people together from the safety and warmth of their own living rooms.  Click here if you’d like some information on how ESCO Technologies can make staying connected easy and simple for seniors all year round.

 

 

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