Depression is a fairly common issue at any time, but it becomes even more pressing during the holiday season. Many people struggle with depression during the holidays, and unfortunately a large number of these are elderly adults. As a family caregiver, it is important to recognize your senior's risk for suffering depression, and also to take as many steps as you can to help them to avoid depression, or cope with it if it arises. Showing compassion and love helps them to maintain their health and well-being even beyond the end of the year.
Use these tips to help your parent avoid depression this holiday season:
- Avoid having conversations about the "perfect" holiday, or all of your visions for the best season. Unrealistic expectations only lead to frustration and sadness, which can be particularly difficult for an elderly adult who feels as though they are not able to participate in the holidays as much as they used to.
- Remember your parent needs you not just to fill their care needs, but also for companionship and love. Avoid overscheduling yourself and limiting the time you spend with your parent. Make plenty of time to just be with them and enjoy quality time rather than always thinking about only their care needs.
- Involve your senior as much as you can in all activities. Invite them to go shopping, ask for their input about gifts, have them help you wrap, and plan evenings of holiday movies and relaxing together. This shows how valuable they are and that they are still a central part of your holiday celebrations.
- Acknowledge grief they are experiencing. It doesn't matter if your parent's partner died decades ago, it is likely they experience sadness and grief during the holiday season. Acknowledge what they are feeling and offer support. Let them know what they are feeling is normal, and that you are there to help them through it.
- Make plans for the year beyond the holiday season. Your parent might experience depression as they think about the emptiness they will feel when the time of joy and visitors will end. Create plenty of plans for the early months of the year so they have something to look forward to.
- Discourage your parent from overindulging in alcohol, which can exacerbate feelings of depression.
Depression is a risk at all times of the year. Making elder care a part of your senior's life throughout the year can help them to avoid this potentially serious issue. Something as simple as dedicated companionship and emotional support can mean a world of difference for your loved one. Add to this the personalized services including transportation, personal care assistance, and mental stimulation, and you can see how an elderly home care services provider can help your parent live their highest quality of life as they age in place.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Williamston, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.