Understanding Post-Holiday Depression in Seniors & How To Provide Care At Home
The holidays may be a time of happiness and togetherness for those who celebrate them. However, once they’ve passed, seniors in Merced, CA may find these pleasurable experiences being quickly replaced by feelings of worry or despair. Depression after the holidays can have lasting negative effects on their health and quality of life. When providing care at home, it’s important to understand its underlying causes, be able to read the signs, and incorporate activities into your senior loved one’s routine to help them combat its effects.
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Common Causes of Post-Holiday Depression
The passage of time and the holiday spirit of fellowship make it difficult to avoid looking at all that has changed. Friends and family members may no longer be there to celebrate, whether it be to do illness, injury, a falling out, or them passing. Similarly, traditions may have begun to change, and therefore the seniors meaning of the holidays. Seniors may also be plagued by other worries, such as their financial situation, their health, and their independence.
Recognizing Post-Holiday Depression
Being sad is a natural part of life, but it is considered depression when it has long-lasting effects on our routine and ability to care for ourselves. Those providing care at home should monitor their senior loved one’s behavior closely during and after the holidays to look for:
- A persistent state of anxiety, sadness, irritability, or emptiness
- Feelings of guilt, helplessness, and hopelessness
- Difficulties concentrating, recalling memories, or applying critical thinking
- Disruption in sleep routine
- Unplanned weight loss or gain
Combating Post-Holiday Depression
There are several strategies to avoid post-holiday depression. Making goals, being active, and staying connected with loved ones are some of the best ways to start the new year out on a good note and with purposeful action. These ideas can be incorporated into your senior loved one’s routine as they receive care at home:
Plan travel and reunions: Those who live far away from their loved ones might benefit by booking a vacation or making preparations to visit relatives and friends. A vacation or reunion does not have to be costly or complicated; just planning a family gathering or supper in the future months might help improve moods.
Learn something new: Idleness might exacerbate anxiety and sadness in some seniors. Taking up a hobby or learning a new skill may offer a fun challenge, and exercising can help to overcome bad emotions.
Relive the greatest moments: Gathering images and recollections from the most recent Christmas season, as well as browsing through souvenirs from previous years, may bring back the delight felt while celebrating. And recalling the good memories might help seniors feel grateful and connected — even when the people they care about aren't around.
Give back: Volunteering is an excellent method to alleviate post-holiday depression. Helping people in need, whether it's a short-term or long-term commitment, may benefit everyone involved. There are also volunteer options for people who are able to go out into the community, as well as activities for those who have mobility challenges or want to help from the comfort of their own home.
Time to get physical: fitness facilities sometimes offer discounts at the start of the year, and there are low-impact exercises that can be done at home or outdoors. Physical exercise, on the other hand, may benefit both the body and the mind. Before beginning a new fitness regimen, older folks should always speak with their doctor.
Sing and tap your toes: Changing someone's attitude may be as easy as listening to cheerful music, playing an instrument, or dancing the day away. Seniors may solicit recommendations from relatives and friends, create playlists of their favorite songs, or take the time to rediscover an album they like.
How Comfort Keepers Serving Merced, CA Can Help
Our mission is to give elders and their families uplifting care at home that is beneficial to them. The tailored treatment plans that we develop for our seniors take into account both their physical needs and non-physical mental health concerns, among other things. Transportation to community activities, support for physician-prescribed exercise regimes, companionship, and assistance in keeping families connected via technology are all possible services provided by our carers. Providing high-quality, sensitive, and joyous care is our goal in elevating the human spirit.