The holidays are supposed to be a happy time – at least that is what society says. But, the reality is that some people may be going through a tough time, dealing with isolation and depression, and may need a little help to combat the holiday blues. The elderly, in particular, may have a hard time dealing with the losses of loved ones, health issues, and isolation.
Here are some tips to help the elderly fight depression during the holiday season and beyond:
- Listen empathetically. They may just want to share stories from their past or talk about traditions they miss now that loved ones have passed away. They may even just want to vent and complain, which could be part of the process of healing in dealing with loss. Just listen, empathetically.
- Remind them of how important they are to you and include them in activities you plan.
- Simplify as a means to focus on the real meaning behind holidays, versus the focus of the marketing hype. Remind them of the things they taught you growing up, regarding family, gratitude, and the real meaning of the holidays.
- Help them write holiday cards to stay in touch with loved who are not necessarily nearby.
- Check the schedule of their spiritual facility/church, if they attend one, and try to attend a mass or function with them.
- Decorate their home or home with them to lift their spirits and bring a little bit of magic to their living space.
- Bring traditional baked goods to them or make them with them and other family and friends.
- Make a traditional meal together or make it for them, decorate the dining room table and sit down and have a meal with them. Include other family and friends as much as you can. Especially the innocence and love of small children are able to bring magic and happiness when one is feeling blue.
- Play music, reminisce about happy past events, and look at photos together. A trip down memory lane can create a very special time for the elderly, who often like to share their special stories and really appreciate when you listen and engage.
Moorings Park Home Health Agency offers VIP Personal Assistant Services to assist with decorating, coordinating holiday cards, and assisting with holiday planning, as well as shopping, wrapping, and shipping of gifts. VIP Personal Assistant Services is a very thoughtful and helpful gift for your loved one.
When helping elderly family members who are feeling blue during the holidays or any time of the year, remember time is the most precious gift. Spend quality time together and show them you care.