Holiday Tradition Benefits Young and Old - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Holiday Tradition Benefits Young and Old

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A holiday tradition could be helping locals avoid depression and loneliness this time of year.

June Albertson and Meredith Brandt don't claim to be gingerbread house experts.

"Our icing isn't doing too well, but we're having fun anyway," said Albertson.

It's the second year Girl Scouts from Troop 498 like Brandt have joined with residents at Kensington Evergreen Assisted Living like Albertson for the holiday tradition.

Staff said a simple craft can keep older people happier and healthier.

"You don't worry about how you feel, less aches and pains, I think. It makes the day go by quicker," said Rhonda Kolbet, program coordinator.

Staying busy could help residents avoid serious issues this time of year.

The holidays can be an especially hard time for the elderly. Financial limitations, being alone, health problems or a loss of mobility can all contribute to feelings of depression or loneliness.

"It's sad sometimes and a lot of them, their families live out of state so they won't get to see them for the holiday season, so this helps," said Kolbet.

If you think someone you know is depressed, experts say reaching out and talking to them could be an easy solution.

Monday's gingerbread craft also benefited the Hastings Girls Scouts that visited.

"They teach each other many things," said Kolbet. "They loved it. They worked together and you learn a lot."

"I think it's fun because you can make new friends and meet new people," said Brandt.

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