When Christmas Isn’t Merry – Holiday Depression In Seniors
- December 10, 2019
Tis’ the season to be merry…right? According to media advertising, everyone is happy, excited and shopping nonstop. Traditionally we think of the holidays as a time of love, happiness, and gatherings with friends and families, but for some this is simply not true.
Holiday depression is a real phenomenon and especially among Seniors.
The holiday season, along with its cold weather and shorter days, is a dangerous combination that lends itself to depressive moods. Seniors who have spent many years enjoying these special times, now consider them more painful. The beautiful memories of the past may create unmanageable expectations that are no longer realistic today and lead to holiday depression for seniors.
In addition, Seniors have experienced the loss of family and friends.
The downside of living a long life is that you undoubtedly outlive many of your friends and family members. Not only is there a loss of relationships but because some elders cannot easily leave their homes, they become isolated and without a network of socialization, depression can take over. Since women still live longer than men there is a growing number of widows living alone.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 11 million, or 28% of people aged 65 and older, lived alone at the time of the last census. As people get older, their likelihood of living alone increases. Since the number of people over 65 will double in the next 20 years, this problem is only going to increase.
Some of the most common symptoms of elderly depression during the holidays may include:
- change in sleeping habits
- difficulty sleeping
- apathy or lethargy
- change of appetite
- loss of interest in activities
- loss of interest in socializing
It is important to recognize these indicators because these behaviors may lead to serious illnesses. Medication mistakes become more common along with falls and other accidents.
Obviously, it is not just the holidays that are important times to be sensitive to the needs of seniors. Living alone does create additional hazards.
There are many hazards when Seniors live alone year-round.
Although many seniors do well living at home for many years there are some pitfalls beyond isolation and depression to watch for:
- increased anxiety and paranoia
- financial worries and fixating on living expenses
- lack of help in an emergency
- greater risk of fall hazards
- greater risk of accidental overdoses
- higher rate of malnutrition
- unable to maintain basic housekeeping
At holiday time it may become more obvious that it is time to consider a move into a Senior Community in Kansas City.
This season magnifies what might be a growing problem for an individual. Oftentimes when a family is visiting from out of town, they suddenly realize how the living situation has deteriorated. Loneliness simply intensifies what formerly was an underlying or undetectable issue.
Family members who don’t see their loved ones regularly are taken back by the decline. It may become very evident that a change in living situations is a good and possibly a lifesaving idea.
Assisted Living can be a great remedy for loneliness and solve many of the problems that seniors universally face.
When a senior lives among contemporaries that share similar memories and similar concerns they can support and console each other. Daily activities and outings can counteract the negative scenario of living alone.
Living in a community solves so many problems like meal preparation and good nutrition, fall protection and 24-hour security, medication management and housekeeping and much more.
Holidays at The Piper Assisted Living and Memory Care
At The Piper, holidays are celebrated in the households just like home, because it is home. The 20 neighbors that fill a household have the opportunity to share their memories and make some new ones. Living in Assisted Living offers new friendships and a beautiful place to entertain family and old friends. The holiday blues are mitigated and once again, there can be joy and laughter for seniors.
If you are interested in scheduling a tour at The Piper, contact us today!