4 Ways to Avoid Senior Holiday Blues
The holiday season is here and while for most it is a joyous and happy time, for others this can be a dreaded part of the year. Most commonly this can be an especially tough time for seniors. From dealing with loneliness for those who are alone, to those whose health, resources or energy is restricting them from enjoying the holidays activities they know and love, it is important to do what you can to combat the holiday blues.
Signs of Holiday Blues
Holiday Blues aka Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, and can last from late fall to early winter and goes away in spring and summer. While holiday blues is considered more of a short term anxiety compared to clinical anxiety, it must be taken seriously as it can lead to long term mental health conditions.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health you might have the holiday blues if you experience the following:
- Loneliness or Isolation
- A Sense of Loss
4 Ways to Help Combat Holiday Blues
- Decorate for the holidays. Seniors often avoid putting up decorations due to physical limitations. Put on some holiday music and as the decorations come out there are sure to be many stories that your loved one is eager to tell.
- Share a favorite holiday meal/ treat. According to Harvard University Press, food is an effective trigger of deeper memories of feelings and emotions, internal states of the mind and body. Ask your loved one what their favorite holiday treat is and cook it together!
- Reminisce on holidays past. Sometimes all seniors need is for someone who will listen and help them process their past holiday memories. This can be a very comforting time for your loved one to be able to speak on happy holiday memories.
- Connect virtually with family far away. It is no secret that seniors often have trouble with handling technology. Help them connect with those who are farther away by setting up a video chat with friends and family whom they cannot be with this holiday season.
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the holiday season is all about coming together and being there for those around you. Make sure to take the time to reach out to the seniors in your life and even seniors in other communities with programs like Project Penpal. You never know when a simple conversation could make the difference in someone’s life.
The holidays are a reflective time to make sure that your loved one is looked after mentally and physically even when you are not there. Companion care is available to those who cannot be with their loved one and feel that they could benefit from having a companion to help them from day to day. Having a companion means getting assistance with daily activities such as chores & errands, medication reminders, light housekeeping, simply just being a friend and more.
At CARE Inc. our caregivers are ready to be there for your loved one and help them enjoy the holidays and beyond! Contact us today to start a conversation about a personal plan of care and financial options that could be available to you.
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