6 Ways To Help Holiday Depression Among Elderly

6 Ways To Help Holiday Depression Among Elderly

Posted on December 5, 2014 by ElderCare Resources in Blog, Caregiver Education, Caregiving, Depression

Watch out for holiday depression among elderly

The holidays are supposed to be a festive time for families and friends, but they can be especially depressing and lonely for the elderly. Perhaps a senior’s spouse has died or his or her children live too far away to celebrate. Or maybe they’re too frail to cook that famous family meal or decorate the house with that special touch.

Reasons for Holiday Depression Among Elderly

  • Financial limitations – don’t have money to buy gifts, food, or decorations
  • Loss of independence – need others for small tasks
  • Feelings of isolation – separated from family, friends, and loved ones
  • Loss of mobility – can’t shop, decorate, visit friends, or attend religious services
  • Failing eyesight

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Warning Signs of Depression

  • Persistent sadness
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Weight changes
  • Pacing and fidgeting
  • Changes in sleep patterns (inability to sleep or excessive sleep)
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Extended periods of staring off into space or at the TV

Activities To Keep the Elderly Entertained During Holidays

  • Play a favorite game together or cook a special meal
  • Help address holiday cards so seniors feel connected to those who live far away
  • Go caroling, attend a holiday musical, or listen to holiday tunes
  • Bake holiday treats and enjoy eating them together and sharing stories while feasting
  • Drive through the neighborhood after dark to see the lights
  • Share past memories to help seniors feel loved

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Thank you to the TheCitizen and SeniorHelpers for this content.