Originally published on Huffington Post:
Visiting a senior living community last winter, I saw a resident sitting in the lobby. She had the ideal perch to watch the comings and goings of passersby, but I knew the holiday season can weigh upon seniors with difficult memories and loneliness. So, I sat beside her and told her about the card game upstairs and a nearby sewing session. She’d be welcome at either, I assured her.
She looked at me and smiled. “I’m very happy here watching people come and go. It’s very exciting,” she said. “From time to time, I get to chat with them. I see children coming in and going out. And I don’t like the sewing, and I don’t care for the card came.”
For some seniors (and people like me), people-watching remains an eternal fascination, while others prefer the social interaction of communal events. There’s no set rule either; some days find residents at senior living communities in the mood to curl up in their pajamas in their rooms with a book, and on other days they prefer to socialize with neighbors and friends. (Mealtimes are especially popular for that.)
But as temperatures drop and days get shorter, life can get particularly tough for seniors.