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Senior Solutions ... Holiday Blues

December 04, 2017

Erika Nail/Senior Life Solutions Program Director

By Erika Nail/Senior Life Solutions Program Director

The holidays bring about many joys and traditions, including spending time with family and friends and celebrations. For some seniors, this time can remind them of losses: the loss of loved ones, home and good health. It is not the actual holiday that causes depression, but the fact that holidays tend to bring up memories of earlier, happier times.

For many of us, it can be difficult to talk about how we are feeling, especially seniors who are feeling down this holiday season. They feel that they don’t want to dampen the mood for others, or they may not want to admit that they feel depressed during what should be a happy time.

There are several things that you can do to help your elderly loved ones through this difficult time.

  • Include them - Invite them out and to get-togethers. Take into account their needs such as transportation or special diets. Remember large groups can be overwhelming and tiring for the elderly. When making plans, take into account your loved ones need to rest often or take afternoon naps. If you don’t live close, call often or help your loved one find community activities in which they can connect with others.
  • Lend a hand - Offer to help someone with cleaning, shopping, cooking and other preparations for get-togethers.
  • Be a good listener - Encourage discussion about feelings and acknowledge family or friends that have died or moved away.
  • Encourage them to talk to a healthcare provider - for some seniors the holiday blues can turn into depression. It is important to let your loved one know that depression is a treatable medical illness and is not a normal part of aging.

Carroll County Memorial Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions program is designed to meet the unique needs of adults over the age of 65 struggling with symptoms of anxiety and depression not just during the holiday season, but year round. We aim to restore the quality of life and overall well-being of the seniors in our community. If someone you know is experiencing difficulties this holiday season, we can help. Please call 660-542-1695 Ext. 3208 for more information.