Although the Holiday Season is usually filled with excitement and celebrations, for some in their “golden” years, this can be one of the toughest times of the year. The stress that comes with taking part in these special celebrations can be overwhelming for some. Many people, regardless of age, can experience feelings of sadness, disappointment and depression this time of year which is often referred to as the “Holiday Blues”. This can be due to the extra stress that results when preparing for all of the fun holiday festivities, while still juggling all of the day to day of our busy lives.
Some seniors experience the “Holiday Blues” more intensely, while others are not affected at all ... Life experience brings many changes with it, and our senior family members often reach a point in their lives when it becomes more difficult to adapt to change. During the Holidays, in particular, some reminisce about better times and the absence of their loved ones. Some of their spouses or closest friends might even have already passed, and their grown up children have busy lives of their own now …
There are many factors that can contribute to our seniors being more sensitive to the pressures that the holidays bring with them and therefore more prone to experience a case of the "holiday blues".
Some signs to watch for are:
- Failing Health
- Loss of a loved one
- Comparison between their lives “then” and “now”
- Limited communication with family and friends
How can we help our seniors??
- Communication today is easier than ever! Give them a call, send them a card, send a vase of flowers, anything that transmits the message that you care and you are thinking about them. You might not have been in contact for a while due to hectic schedules or a past history, but the Holiday season is the perfect opportunity to re-connect with the seniors in your life.
- Go to visit them and bring your family along - Have you ever seen the happiness of a senior when he is around a grandchild? This holiday season keep that in mind. There is no better gift than the gift of good company and building memories that will last a lifetime.
- Help your senior engage with their community – if their health allows them, there are always great senior-centered community activities. Get them involved!
- If you think your senior is experiencing the “Holiday Blues”, make sure he is also checked for Depression. Counseling or support groups can also be beneficial.
Ensure your senior safety. We should always remember our seniors were there for us once, be there for your senior this holiday season, make sure they know you are here for them today!