For many seniors, the winter holidays trigger lots of overwhelming feelings, from stress and grief to full depression. If you are new to being a family caregiver for your aging mom or dad, you may not realize that instead of fun and happiness, winter holidays bring negative emotions to them. In addition, many seniors simply become overwhelmed at the holidays because of adjustments to their routine, travel, seasonal disorders, chronic illnesses and financial worries.
So how can you help your elderly parent avoid winter holiday depression? Her are a few ideas on ways to make the season more joyful than dreadful.
Have a Plan.
You may be guilty of trying to do everything and attend every event. However, your elderly parent may only want to participate in a few meaningful activities. Talk with your parent and decide what their priorities are for the holiday season. Figure out what will be meaningful for them versus what will cause them stress. You might be surprised to find that they cherish events where family and friends come first.
Stick to Their Schedule.
Many seniors have a hard time coping when their schedules are disrupted. This is especially true when it affects their meals and sleep. If there are events that will push back their dinner too late or cause them to miss a much-needed nap, it may be best to reschedule or give plenty of notice and compensate accordingly. When seniors are fatigued and hungry, they will lack the stamina to do what they need to.
Focus on Friends and Family.
Many seniors experience social isolation much of the year as their friends and family move far away or become busy with their own lives. Making connections with people is a very important part of keeping depression at bay. Anything you can do to get seniors to spend time with loved ones will boost their mental health and create treasured memories.
Recruit Help When Needed.
Sometimes seniors need some extra help, especially when you are busy or burned out. Building a support system is important, and you can look to other family members or good friends to answer your calls for assistance. You can also hire an elder care aide to come in a few days per week to help your elderly mom or dad with bathing, grooming, transportation, and more. Getting help from family or elder care can also help you avoid negative feelings around the holidays, too.
Depression for seniors can happen any time of year, but the winter holidays can be an especially powerful trigger. Make sure you include them in as many holiday activities as you can, according to their needs and desires. You’ll be able to focus on the wonderful and festive things that make the holidays special by making sure your elderly mom or dad is well cared for and making memories they’ll cherish throughout the year.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Seneca, SC, contact Heart of the Carolinas Home Care at 864-991-3116. Providing Home Care Services in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Spartanburg, Mauldin, Seneca, Laurens, Charleston, Columbia and the surrounding areas.
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