It’s the holiday season, which means lots of songs, gifts, and other constant reminders of proverbial “holiday cheer.”
For many, it’s a time of great joy. But for others, the holidays can bring on “the holiday blues,” or a period of increased anxiety and depression that some people experience during the holiday months.
This can be especially true for seniors. During the holiday season, seniors often report increased loneliness associated with living far away from family members, health issues, and/or a recent loss, such as the death of a spouse.
For adult children who take on many of the care responsibilities for their aging parents, the holiday season can be particularly stressful. Some feel at a loss for how to help their aging parents manage the holiday blues.
And when parents are struggling with memory or health issues, the prospect of getting them through the holidays can be even more overwhelming.
Luckily, there are some simple and effective strategies you can use to brighten the holidays for the seniors in your life – no matter their level of ability.
4 Strategies to Cure the Holiday Blues for Seniors During the Holidays
First things first: do NOT try to do everything by yourself. As an adult caring for an elderly parent, it can often feel like you must take on all the responsibility. Of course, you love your parents and want to give them a great holiday season, but you can’t do it all on your own. Try your best to recruit other family members and friends to help you out. This will help make things not only more manageable but more enjoyable.
Make Time to Be Together – In-Person or Virtually
During the holiday season, and especially when experiencing the holiday blues, it’s important that seniors are not alone. Time with family members or friends offers seniors an incredible sense of joy and community and reinforces the idea that they have loved ones to connect with.
Not able to include them in the whole day? That’s okay! Even making time for one visit on Christmas morning or New Year’s Day makes a huge difference.
Decorate for the Season Together
Decorating for the holidays is a great way to include seniors in the festivities. Consider stopping by their place to help spruce it up or have them to yours for some family decorating time.
Even if your family member has physical or mental limitations, simple tasks such as hanging ornaments or icing cookies can be a great way to involve seniors and give them a chance to share their holiday memories and traditions.
Look Through Old Photo Albums
Need an idea for a great holiday gift? Consider making a photo album for the seniors in your life. While many of us store photos digitally on our phones these days, a tangible photo album can be very meaningful for senior family members.
Even for those who have memory issues, reminiscing about past traditions and looking at photos of loved ones can be a positive experience. Simply sitting down and listening to your parents as they talk about their memories can have an extraordinary impact. Just be sure you allot the time and patience to do this with them, as you don’t want them to feel rushed.
P.S. A photo album is a great task to delegate to a creative family member who enjoys the crafting process!
As you can see, there are some great ways to bring holiday cheer to the seniors in your life. It can certainly feel like a big task to manage the holiday blues for an aging parent, so be sure to involve other family members and ask them for help!
Bottom line: curing the holiday blues doesn’t need to involve anything fancy or over-the-top. Simply gathering at home, sending a care package, or engaging in a holiday craft can make a huge difference. At the end of the day, it’s all about making the seniors in your life feel loved and included.
We welcome you and your loved ones to visit Pleasant View Communities and discover everything our vibrant, active community has to offer. We’ll take you on a tour of our community and show you the beauty and joy of carefree living. Contact us to learn more and schedule a tour.