Help Seniors Avoid the Holiday Blues
A Letter from the Administrator
The holidays can be stressful for anyone, but for senior adults, this time of year can magnify feelings of loneliness and depression. Memories of holidays long ago with loved ones who have passed, or feeling left out of the holiday bustle can be triggers for depression.
Here are some suggestions to help the seniors in your life enjoy the holidays, not dread them. These are from American Medical Resource Institute, Inc.
Let them help with holiday planning.
Include them in decorating, baking or visiting. If they are mobile enough, invite them to join you in attending special services or programs.
Take them to see Christmas lights.
For those with mobility issues, it’s a great way to get out and enjoy the season. In fact, who doesn’t like driving around and seeing the colorful displays?
Respect their feelings.
If an older adult reveals he’s depressed, don’t reply with “Snap out of it” or another quick comment. Let him talk about how he’s feeling, and really listen to him. Respond to what he says so he knows you’re listening and not just hearing him.
If you can’t visit, be sure to call your elderly relative, and call often. Hearing your voice can be so important. Encourage other family members to call, too.
Keep communication lines open after the holidays. The days following can lead to post-holiday sadness. Visit or call to make sure your older adult is still doing OK.
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