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Idaho Commission on Aging challenges people to brighten senior citizen’s moods

Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 3:58 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - The holidays can be a fun time to spend with family and friends.

For some however, the holidays can be very isolating, especially this year with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this week’s Fit and Well Idaho report, KMVT shows how those living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities could use some love this time of year.

While many will be enjoying the holiday season with their loved ones, for those living in nursing homes or long term care facilities, this holiday season will be different.

“A lot of them are not getting out like they were before, and so there is a lot of loneliness there, they aren’t able to visit with their families,” said Janet Miller from the Idaho Commission on Aging. “Their families are not able to come into the center, like they used to be able to, a lot of the visits are virtual or they are through glass, so there is just a lot of loneliness.”

Dr. Marc Allan from St. Luke’s Magic Valley says many experience stress around the holiday season by trying to make everything perfect.

With COVID-19 changing people’s plans and canceling family visits, the feeling could be worse.

“The holidays in it of themselves, have shown to be in the past, a time where people get even more depressed,” said Dr. Allan. “They have even greater anxiety, and if that is based on the stresses of trying to have the perfect time with your family, or it brings up unpleasant experiences from your past.”

The Idaho Commission on Aging has recognized the loneliness at local nursing homes and assisted living facilities and now has a challenge for everyone.

“The plan here is to just get people, over the holiday season and hopefully beyond, just to write letters and send them to any resident,” said Miller.

Miller says many residents never get any visitors or letters, and she is encouraging everyone that is able to cheer up those who are alone in those facilities.

“They just need to put on the front ‘any resident,’ and so they will give it to the resident’s that are really in the most need of letters, they have residents who are not getting letters, that is who they will give it to, I suggest you write to a facility in your area,” said Miller.

A small act of kindness will make these senior citizen’s holiday season, a little brighter.

She says to write about whatever is on your heart.

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