Different ways to connect and enjoy the holidays

ADRC Answer of the Month

Finding joy in small things, sharing our stories, and giving to others are powerful ways to connect with family and friends during the holiday season. The ADRC (Aging and Disability Resource Center) team would like to share a few suggestions that may be helpful as you navigate the holiday season, while remembering those whose holidays can be difficult and emotional. Here are some of our favorites:

• Most of us are familiar with the technology that can be used on a phone or a computer such as Skype, Facetime and Zoom. Don’t forget – sometimes the simplest way to connect is by placing a phone call. Perhaps scheduling time to talk over a holiday meal is a good idea for your family or those spending the holiday alone when it’s not possible to be physically together. The “conference” button on the phone may be the easiest technology to use for a group connection.

• We all know Alaska winters bring snow and ice, and snow and ice are a safety risk during this time of year. Consider the gift of hiring someone to keep walkways/driveways clear of snow and ice and prevent someone you know from having to do it themselves.

• Following a significant snowfall or ice storm, it may be best to avoid going out to the store or traveling immediately. Do you know someone that could benefit from having food essentials and medications handy to decrease the need to travel during less than desirable road conditions?

• Helping someone with holiday decorating can help decrease loneliness during the holiday season. Setting up timers for holiday lights and using battery operated candles help keep the season bright for many of us.

• Listen to your favorite tunes. There is nothing like music to bring a memory to life. Maybe consider giftting a headset or wireless ear buds with a pre-programmed music list you have created for your special someone.

• Everyone enjoys receiving a letter — get the grandkids involved!

• Read the newspaper together with someone who would like help in keeping up with current and community events. And don’t forget how fun those crossword puzzles and word finds can be.

• Check out the on-line exercise classes designed for seniors. Maybe someone you know would like company or help in accessing a class on-line?

There are many ways to connect with family, friends and those who may feel lonely and forgotten. Sometimes the simplest act of kindness is the best way to make that connection.

Submitted by Maureen Haggblom, Anchorage Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) program manager, and the Anchorage ADRC team.

Alaska’s Aging and Disability Resource centers connect seniors, people with disabilities, and caregivers with long-term services and supports. For assistance and answers, call your regional ADRC toll-free at 1-855-565-2017. Or visit the Alaska Div. of Senior and Disabilities Services ADRC website at https://dhss.alaska.gov/dsds/pages/adrc.