How to Cope with the Holidays:  Suggestions for Seniors and their Families

Senior Care in Bronxville NY

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” according to the lyrics of a popular Christmas carol. But, in fact, the holiday season can be a lonely, stressful and depressing time of year, especially for Senior-Care-Bronxville-NYthe elderly.

The holidays can be difficult for seniors because they often bring back memories of family and friends who are gone.

What’s more, it can be particularly frustrating for seniors who are unable to fully participate in the season’s festivities. This is frequently the case for seniors who are house bound, confined to a facility, or restricted in their activities due to disabilities or ailments.

Fortunately, according to mental health experts at The Perfect Home Care, there are steps that can be taken to help address the holiday blues suffered by seniors:

·       Strike up a conversation with the elderly person about their loved ones who are no longer here, being certain to acknowledge their feelings of loss.

·       Find a way to honor the people who are gone by doing a scrapbook of memories, or looking at old photographs.  Another suggestion is preparing a favorite meal that they used to share with the loved one.

·       Plan ahead so that elderly loved ones can be included in the season’s festivities, including activities such as holiday shopping, and decorating the tree and the house.  After all, it can be fun taking out ornaments and reminiscing about holidays past.

·       Schedule a day to bake holiday treats with an elderly loved one, and then distribute them to friends and family.

·       Encourage the elderly to acknowledge their feelings, and not to force themselves to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.

·       Reach out. If lonely or isolated, the elderly should seek out community, work-related, religious or other social events that will offer support and companionship. They might also consider volunteering their time to help others as doing so can be a good way to lift spirits.

·       Encourage the elderly to try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to their expectations.

·       The elderly, who are often on fixed incomes, should stick to a budget when holiday shopping.  They should not try to buy happiness by purchasing gifts they can’t afford.

·       The elderly, who are frequently inclined to want to always please loved one, need to learn to say “no.” Saying “yes” when they should say “no” can leave them feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and family will understand if they can’t participate in every project or activity.

·       They elderly need not abandon their healthy habits by letting the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence contributes to making the elderly unhappy.

·       Getting a holiday haircut and or a manicure and pedicure could make the elderly feel great.

·       Fresh air and sunshine is good for the soul, so arrange to get elderly loved ones out as much as possible as the weather permits.

Depression at this time of year, or any time for that matter, should not be ignored. Of course, if the feelings last, it’s time to talk to a doctor or a mental health professional. But, hopefully, some of the steps listed above will serve to alleviate feelings of depression, stress or loneliness. Indeed, we should strive to make the holiday season “The most wonderful time of year” for the elderly.

If you or an aging loved one are looking for senior care services in Bronxville, NY, call the friendly staff at The Perfect Home Care at (855) 855-5728.  Call today!

Geralyn DiGiovanni, Manager, Client Services