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When we think of the holidays, we think of warm fireplaces, sharing food and exchanging presents. For many of us, it’s a time when we visit with friends of family throughout the entire month. But for older adults, the holidays are not always so joyful. It can also be a time of loneliness and sorrow. With social and family pressures, one may feel the “Holiday Blues.”
The social pressure and expectations of an elder can be stressful and exhausting. While some may love the hustle and bustle of shopping and visiting different friends and family, many seniors are not able visit with their loved ones who may have moved to another town or state. A senior on a budget may also stress about their financial situation. And others may also suffer from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.
When visiting or speaking with your loved ones as holidays approach, look for signs and symptoms of Holiday Blues. Signs and symptoms may include:
There are ways to help with Holiday Blues. If you see that your loved one is expressing any of the signs and symptoms above, here are some tips on beating the blues:
The holidays are a time when family and friends get together. To help with loneliness and social isolation, make an increased effort to visit with your loved one or bring them along to visit with others. If you are spiritual, take weekly visits to your place of worship. Join a charitable activity, or attend a local event in the community. Volunteering will give your loved one a sense of purpose and a way to meet new people. Work with family to get the elders together on a more regular basis. Spending time together, as well as having a connection to the local community, will help you and your loved one create a feeling of belonging and happiness.
When family moves away or grows too large, they often cease family traditions and create new ones. It’s important for families to reach out to the family elders to make sure they continue to be a part of holiday traditions so do not become isolated or depressed. If they are no longer able to put up a tree on their own, start a tradition of bringing a small tree to decorate with the children at their home. You may also invite them into your home to be a part of your family traditions.
With cookies at every turn and a pie at the end of every meal, it’s easy to get off track during the holidays. But it’s important at every age and every season to eat a healthy diet and keep physically fit. Eating nutritious meal and moving our bodies have mood enhancement qualities that we need to keep Holiday Blues at bay. Read more about staying physically fit here.
If you find that your loved one may have a case of the Holiday Blues, you may want to visit your nearest Priority Life Care community. Each of our communities is a neighborhood and family within itself. Our caregivers are one-on-one with our residents everyday. We have activities and outings throughout the year that give our seniors purpose, they will continue to be social and have a place to belong. Connect with one of our locations to experience one of our communities today.