Help seniors navigate the holiday season

Published: 12/5/2018 9:59:55 PM
Tips for helping someone with the holiday blues

Holidays are a time for celebrations, parties, and get-togethers. But sometimes the holiday season can also be a source of the blues, especially for older people, who may think about how quickly time has passed, or miss loved ones more during this time of year. Health conditions or concerns about money can also make it harder to enjoy the holidays. The AGS Health in Aging Foundation offers the following tips to help cope with the melancholy that may accompany the holidays:

Include them — Invite them out! Take into account their needs, such as transportation or special diets.

Lend a hand — Offer to help someone with their cleaning, shopping, cooking, and other preparations for gatherings in their homes.

Be a good listener — Be a supportive listener and encourage discussions about feelings and concerns. Acknowledge difficult feelings, including a sense of loss if family or friends have passed or moved away.

Overcoming Seasonal Stress

Sometimes as we age, the holidays no longer seem very jolly, and we don't feel like celebrating much anymore. What used to be a joyous occasion can change and take on new meanings as life throws us curve balls.

We think we're supposed to be exceptionally happy this time of year, but that expectation alone can cause people of all ages to become sad or depressed. Caregivers and older adults are especially susceptible to the holiday blues.

While the holidays may not be the same as they were in the past, there can still be plenty of reasons to celebrate. One of the most important things to remember is that it's okay to enjoy the holidays as they are now. Old memories hold a special place in your heart, but there is always enough room to add new ones.

Knowing what exactly is triggering these gloomy feelings during the winter season can help you find ways to cope and feel better.

Preparing for the Holidays

The holiday season is rapidly approaching and we bet your to-do list is growing.

The holidays can be a stressful time, especially if you are also taking care of your aging loved one. Take control this year by following these tips on preparing for the holidays:

Make a list (and check it twice) – A list can be very helpful during stressful times. Write down what you need to do and when each action item needs to be completed. This will help you stay organized and on top of your busy schedule!

Take a deep breath – Remember to take small breaks! Running around will only make you more tired and more stressed. It’s always important to take time to yourself and let your mind and body relax – even if it’s only for 20 minutes.

Ask for help – You can always ask for help! No one can do everything on their own, so there is no shame in asking for a helping hand!



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