Depression in elders around Christmas/New YearsThe holidays are here, and for most of us, that means it’s time to kick back and relax with your loved ones, in between shoveling snow and shopping for the perfect gifts. However, it’s also pretty common for the holidays to inspire sadness and depression in elders.

How can you help? This season, take a few moments to help out the older members of your family, whether you shovel their snow, take them shopping, or even just spare a few moments for a sincere chat. Call them to ask what their plans are, or offer to address envelopes for their Christmas cards to relieve their arthritis. Extend an invitation to join in your holiday baking, or bring children to visit.

Here are a few reasons why depression is common in elders around Christmas and New Years:

Weather. Without as many hours of daylight as summertime, winter can be depressing for just about anyone, especially those who are sensitive to Seasonal Affective Disorder. The freezing weather itself is difficult to deal with for active people, and staying active can be a real challenge for elders. Symptoms to look out for include loss of appetite, hopelessness, increased sleep and decreased energy levels.

Health. Seniors dealing with illnesses or health issues of any kind can feel overwhelmed over the holidays. Living in snowy regions is hard work, even for those in perfect health, and rushing around shopping for loved ones is exhausting in many ways. Aging family members may feel like they can’t keep up and will most likely appreciate as much help from family members as possible.

Money. Retirement isn’t exactly a vacation! Being able to pay for your home, groceries, and other necessities is an ongoing requirement for everyone. Getting older can be quite costly, with additional medical appointments and miscellaneous costs. It’s quite stressful for those who think they must choose between affording Christmas gifts and taking care of themselves.

Nostalgia and/or loneliness. After a long, full life, the holidays can make many people experience nostalgia for years gone by and loved ones who have passed on. Elders who have lost their spouses can have an especially hard time with the holidays.

Hiring a caregiver from Metropolitan Home Health Services is a fantastic solution for busy families. Letting your elders know that you truly care for them can be the best gift of all. Call us today to discuss the right solution for you.

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