Avoiding the Holiday Blues and Depression Among Seniors

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posted by Ted Ryan on December 17, 2014

The song says “tis the season to be jolly” but for some, the holidays can be a sad and lonely time. Days become shorter. Cold weather keeps you cooped up. Winter can be depressing – particularly for seniors, who may find themselves isolated and missing deceased loved ones and merrier times.

Depression affects more than 6 million Americans age 65 and older.

As we age, our holiday experiences will change but enjoying them shouldn’t. We should cherish our memories and be thankful for what we have now and what the future will bring.

As you spend time with senior loved ones this holiday season, watch for signs of depression. If they last more than two weeks, work with them to seek help.

Though we can’t turn back time, knowing the signs of depression and loneliness can prevent them from progressing.

Symptoms of depression vary, but may include:

  • Persistent sadness
  • Sleep problems, such as trouble falling asleep or sleeping too much
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Decreased socialization
  • Loss of interest or pleasure from usual activities
  • Excessive worrying
  • Irritability
  • Feeling worthless, helpless or hopeless
  • Changes in appetite or appearance
  • Crying spells
  • Trouble focusing, remembering or making decisions
  • Eating more or less than usual
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

If Seniors Home Care can help you or a loved one get the most out of your holiday season, or you would like more information about seniors and depression, please contact us.

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