How to Make the Holidays More Fun for Introverted Seniors
Prepare yourself…the holidays are here! Though there are plenty of people who flourish on the hectic pace of celebrations and parties, there are just as many who cringe at the thought of stepping outside of their comfort zone and into more large-scale social obligations. It may simply boil down to one main difference: extroversion vs. introversion. And it is essential to know which classification the older adults in your life lean towards more, so you can ensure the most appropriate type of socializing to help them feel most comfortable: for introverted seniors as well as extroverted ones.
What’s the Difference Between Introverts and Extroverts?
The truth of the matter is none of us are entirely one or the other. Imagine a continuum with introversion on one side and extroversion on the other. We all fall at one point along that continuum. The chief characteristics of introversion include a more quiet, reserved, and internally-focused viewpoint, while extroversion comprises a more outward focus: talkative, sociable, and action-oriented.
It's interesting to know that psychologists believe we grow more introverted with age, in a condition known as “intrinsic maturation.” So just because a senior you love once fully enjoyed and drew energy from highly social functions, you may notice a transformation towards beginning to feel more self-contained and content with smaller, more intimate social scenes or even just spending more time alone.
Understanding that socializing is vital to a senior’s health, how can you help an introverted senior enjoy time together with family and friends, not only during the holidays, but all year long? Try these tips.
Settle into the perimeter. Rather than encouraging someone who is introverted to be front and center in a social setting, choose a quieter spot at the edge of the group, where they can talk with one or two people at a time.
Designate a buddy. Having one trusted, close family member, friend or caregiver to be close to the senior adds a measure of comfort and familiarity to what may feel like an intimidating setting.
Decide on a specified exit time. Talk with the senior about how much time may be comfortable for visiting. If they would like to stay for just an hour, for example, be sure to respect that request and be prepared to leave when they are.
How Can a Caregiver Help?
A caregiver from The Care Company, the top provider of home care in Mississauga and the surrounding areas, offers the ideal opportunity for the one-on-one socializing that more introverted seniors need. Just a few of the many ways we can help include:
Attending holiday parties with the older adult to ensure all of their needs are met in the most comfortable setting
Offering companionship in the home for conversations and activities that are fun for the senior
Providing accompanied transportation to a small-group class or to learn a new hobby they’ve always wanted to try
Contact us online or call (416) 422-2273 to learn more techniques to help an older adult you love enjoy the highest possible quality of life, and to find out how partnering with a professional caregiver can help.