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Holiday Blues & The Elderly

Posted by Debby Franklin on Dec 21, 2016 12:18:05 PM

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The holidays are here! It's a time of happiness and joy, surrounded by loving friends and family,right? This is a wonderful picture but for many elderly, its feelings of loneliness and sadness that result in holiday blues that dominate during this time of year.

Why the blues during such a festive time of year? Many senior adults have lost spouses and close friends as they become older. Many are separated from family and may be in poor health. Additionally, they may feel guilty for even having these feelings of sadness and blues.

Here are strategies for helping a loved one who is dealing with those "holiday blues":

  • People shouldn't live in isolation, especially at the holidays!  If family can't be with loved ones, help coordinate visits from friends.  Arrange participation in volunteer opportunities at local churches or civic groups.  Helping others is a great way to forget your own troubles and to restore the joy of the season to both you and your loved one.  Consider hiring a caregiver for companionship or to accompany a senior  to festive events if you are unable to be present.  
  • Help your elderly family or friend to be extra careful with finances.  Assist in establishing a gift giving budget and help your loved one stick with it.  As most seniors live on a fixed income, overspending can cause worry over the extra bills after the holidays.
  • Encourage the senior in your life to avoid alcohol during the holidays.  Alcohol is a depressant that can intensify feelings of sadness.
  • Encourage your loved one to express their feelings with you, a friend or a professional, if necessary.  Denying or hiding these feelings can often intensify the sadness and desperation.
  •  Additionally, post holiday "letdown" can be eased by helping to organize and store holiday decorations, gifts and photos.  
  • Stay healthy and get adequate rest.  Senior citizens need to be reminded to pace themselves and go easy on holiday treats and sweets.  Stay on a healthy eating plan and get as much rest as possible.  The stress of the season can decrease immunity and increase the rate of colds and flu. 

Time is the most valuable gift you can give to elders not only during the holiday but throughout the year. the holidays are a time for family and friends to come together and serve one another.  It's a time to be thankful and to be selfless in giving.  

If you believe your elderly loved one's safety or health may be at risk from being alone.  Or if you know that they are in dire need of companionship and socialization.  It may be time to consider in-home care and the assistance of a caregiver to be there when you can't be.  Easy Living Services, Inc. has helped thousands of  metro Atlanta families care for their loved ones since 1994.  Let us help you explore your options.

Call us at 770-442-8664 or visit our web site at: www.easylivingservices.com

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