Senior Care: How to Minimize the Holiday Blues
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Senior Care: How to Minimize the Holiday Blues

Senior Care: How to Minimize the Holiday Blues

Despite the holiday season being filled with fun, happy times spent with friends, family, and neighbors, many among us tend to experience the very opposite: anxiety, anger, and sadness.

These feelings are grouped under the "holiday blues", a condition describing the flurry of negative emotions that strike some people during the holiday season. It comes about for a number of reasons, and it's felt tangibly by all who suffer it.

As it turns out, seniors with diminished independence are especially prone to catching the holiday blues. If you suspect that your loved one is feeling down, here are some ideas on how to help.

Families Care and Communicate

If your senior parent is going through a rough time, there's no guarantee that they'll be the one to bring it up. Indeed, there's their sense of pride to consider: no parent wants to readily open up about their feelings of helplessness to their children. This is a fitting reversal of roles, and it's part of life's natural cycle - but it isn't easy to talk about.

That's why you should consider starting the conversation. If you notice that their personality has taken a turn for the blue this season, talk to them. That might be what they need in order to open up and express their feelings of boredom and loneliness.

Once it becomes clear that there is an issue, the family can come together and begin considering solutions.

Diet & Exercise 

The holidays are the time of year when seemingly everyone lets themselves go - as we all know. With the abundance of delicious dishes being manifested throughout the month of December leading up to Christmas, it's easy to surrender to one's sense of indulgence, and do so over and over again.

However, we should all keep in mind that the short-term mouth pleasures of decadent eating can have long-term health consequences. Of course, this is especially true for seniors and doubly true for those suffering from diabetes.

To make matters worse, people tend to eat their emotions when they catch the Holiday Blues. This leads to a vicious cycle: we get sad and overeat, then get sadder and overeat again. Anyone caught in this loop isn't likely getting their physical exercise in, either.

This year, consider cutting back on the decadence by including health-conscious options in your holiday spread. With some research and a bit of creativity, you'll find that there's a whole world of delicious, healthy dishes out there.

Budgeting

As arbitrary as it sounds, financial concerns may very well be the main culprit for your loved one's blues. In an ever-thinning economy - especially for seniors on a fixed income - there's a chance that they might have to pinch their pennies through the holiday season.

A senior loves to spoil their children and grandchildren during this time of year. If they're not able to do that due to budgetary restraints, that might put a glum shade on their whole season.

What you can do to help: set a family budget, communicate it broadly and clearly, and ensure that it's respected. Take everyone's finances into account, especially your parent's. Chances are that a reasonable gift budget will send a wave of relief through the rest of your family as well.

Spend Some Time Together

While there are a number of potential triggers for the holiday blues, loneliness is definitely the big one. The average senior simply doesn't get the same amount of human interaction that other age groups do. Widowers especially are prone to having a deeply difficult time managing a smile during the holidays.

What you and your family can do to help is simply spend time together when it's possible. If nothing else, being in your company for a while will take their mind away from their nagging holiday blues.

We're Always Here to Help

Sadly, when the roots of the holiday blues run too deeply, it might be difficult for your family to fully attend to your loved one's needs.

At Home Instead, our long term care services are offered as a solution to the holiday blues. If you suspect a need for an extra hand tending to your loved one, feel free to give us a call today.

Contact us today for your free consultation and caregiving plan!

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