The holiday season can be a joyous, memorable time. However, it can also bring uninvited stress, and for some a wave of loneliness, especially for seniors. So how can we help our seniors fight the holiday blues?
- Invite them to social activities.
Family members and friends can invite seniors to holiday parties and gatherings. Walking together in the fresh air can help fight off loneliness and taking in the scenery of decorated houses for the holidays might bring a much needed smile to the face of your loved ones. Sharing some bubbly might raise the holiday spirit, but be cautious, as drinking too much can lead one to feel more depressed and lonely.
- Look for volunteer opportunities.
There are an abundance of organizations and religious affiliations that are in need of volunteers on an on-going basis. With the holiday season being a lonelier time for some seniors, a friendly face can help them celebrate surrounded by caring people. You can volunteer to read a holiday favorite, sing a tune, or even just give them some company with your loving presence.
- Offer to do an activity they enjoy.
The type of activities we enjoy may change as we age. Find out what activities your senior family member or friend likes and offer to participate with them. Sometimes an outing, an evening playing games, or watching home movies can have a positive affect on someone’s mood. At they very least, they will appreciate that you took some time out to get to know them better and take notice of their interests.
- Know the signs of depression.
Sadly, during the holiday season many people, especially seniors, become depressed. One way you can help is by recognizing the signs of depression. Some signs to look out for are:
- Inexplicable sadness that won’t go away
- Crying frequently
- Fatigue and restlessness
- Thoughts of suicide and feeling guilty
- Changes in weight and appetite
These are just a few symptoms to look out for. If your loved is showing any of these signs, or if you feel that something just isn’t right, encourage them to speak to a healthcare professional.
Sometimes people just want to be heard. Listening and encouraging seniors to speak about their worries, sharing memories of relatives and friends, and letting them know that their concerns are being heard are helpful to their mental well-being. Encouraging them to share fond memories can help them have a happy holiday.
These are just a few ideas that will help seniors fight sadness this holiday season, but they can also help them year-round. If you are unable to be with your loved one during the holidays or need a little extra help, consider hiring a nurse or caretaker with 24/7 Nursing Care. They will be able to assist with your family member’s continuous care of medication, doctor appointments, errands, personal hygiene, and give them a companion to rely upon.
Preidt, R. (2016, December 15). Helping Seniors Beat the Holiday Blues. Retrieved December 20, 2016, from http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=6459133&%3Bpage=1
Tips for beating the Holiday Blues. (n.d.). Retrieved December 18, 2016, from http://www.healthinaging.org/files/documents/tipsheets/holiday_blues2011.pdf