December 26, 2017

Holidays Can Bring On Depression for Seniors


The following article is from Comfort Caregivers Inc

Holidays Can Bring On Depression for Seniors

It is the time of year when everyone one is busy celebrating, shopping and getting together with friends and family. It sounds like so much fun, but sometimes the stress of this time of year can cause depression, especially in our Senior and Elderly friends and relatives. Melancholy can easily set in during this time of year and cause the Holiday Blues, as older generations remember Holidays past.

While the Holiday Blues are considered a form of depression, there is a difference between the blues and full blown depression. Most of the symptoms of both are the same, but the blues should only last for a couple of months, while depression will continue.

If you have experienced the Holiday Blues, here are some tips from, The American Geriatrics Society for getting through this holiday season, as chances are you will experience the blues again.

  • Get out and socialize or invite family and friends over. Those who find it hard to get around should ask relatives and others for help traveling to parties and events.
  • Volunteering can help improve mood. Contact the United Way or call local schools or religious organizations to ask about opportunities nearby.
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol because it can actually lower your spirits.
  • Accept the fact that many people feel blue during the holidays and there is nothing wrong with not being “merry.”
  • Talking to someone about your feelings may help you understand the reasons why you feel sad.
  • If you’re depressed, contact your health-care provider. Depression is treatable.

If you know a Senior or Elderly person who may have the blues, here are some tips:

  • If you know of an older person who may have the blues, encourage them to talk about their feelings. Acknowledge their sadness, including a sense of loss if family or friends have died or moved away.
  • Invite them out and to gatherings. Remember to take into account their needs, such as transportation or special diets.
  • Lend a hand by offering to help with shopping and preparations for get-togethers in their homes.Your Text
  • Encourage them to talk about their feelings. Acknowledge their sadness, including a sense of loss if family or friends have died or moved away.
  • Suggest your loved one talk with a health-care provider. Many Seniors and Elderly people don’t realize when they’re depressed. Let your loved one know depression is a medical illness and there’s no shame in having it.

Watch for warning signs of depression. While holiday blues are temporary and mild, depression is more serious. Signs of depression include: persistent sadness; lack of interest; frequent crying; changes in appetite, weight or sleep; constant feelings of fatigue, restlessness, worthlessness, or guilt; suicidal thoughts.