Dr. Suess’ classic line, “There’s no joy in Whoville…” isn’t just a memorable phrase from a cute movie starring Jim Carrey. For millions of elderly people throughout our world, it’s a painful reality they face every single day—especially during the holiday season.
I bet you know someone just like this man in the video above who lives within a stone’s throw of your home. And I also bet that you have a heart for hurting people. So what if we all decided together to make a small attempt to help with this heartbreaking problem this holiday season?
FACTS TO CONSIDER
- Close to 28% or 12.1 million seniors in the USA live alone.
- 21% or one in five people over 65 do not drive and it’s the main reason people isolate.
- Hunger threatens over 9 million older adults.
- 1 million homebound seniors are malnourished.
- Elderly suicide rates are high.
- 87% of Americans receive unpaid care at home from family and friends.
Loneliness is not only painful emotionally but it can have a devastating impact on a person’s long-term psychological and physical health. Loneliness predisposes us to depression and increases our risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It suppresses our immune system, it stresses our cardiovascular systems, and when chronic, it affects our very longevity. Can you see how loneliness isn’t an issue we outgrow—ever?
WHAT YOU COULD DO
I’d like to challenge you, your family, your church, and your youth group to start a campaign to adopt the lonely elderly in your community this holiday season. Wouldn’t it be too easy to drop-in on shut-ins longing for a visit? What if you just took time to ask them to share their fondest childhood memories of Christmas? Or maybe you have room around your table for another dinner guest? Or an extra stocking that needs to be filled and delivered?
MORE IDEAS FOR YOU
Download this one-page PDF for 13 practical ways you can suck the life out of lonely for the elderly this holiday season. Talk about these ideas with your family, church, youth group, or small group of friends.