Seniors who are in assisted living facilities, or those who require homecare, have much to look forward to over the holiday season. Many community-minded groups look for ways to bring some holiday cheer into senior housing communities by visiting, caroling or bringing gifts.
In Woodland Park, Colorado, for example, volunteers spent their morning wrapping donated gifts for seniors within the town as part of the "Be a Santa to a Senior Program." The presents will be delivered before Christmas Eve.
Though many seniors will enjoy their gifts and visits, research suggests that it's important for them to stay active all year round. A study titled "The Impact on Older Participants of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs," which began in 2001, found that seniors who participate in creative arts programs exhibited better social, behavioral and mental health than those in a control group who did not regularly participate in programs, according to Retirement-Living.com.
Seniors who were engaged in an active living lifestyle also visited the doctor less. Those who participated in a creative program visited the doctor approximately 9 times a year, on average. Seniors who were not enrolled in the program had approximately 13 doctor visits annually.