There is the common notion that depression and suicidal rate significantly increase during this time of the year. It’s said that the cheerfulness of the Christmas season can trigger loneliness to those who have lost a loved one or who are already feeling down and expecting to be uplifted during the season but find only disappointment.
On the other hand, the NYU Langone Medical Center states that in a recent study, it showed that contrary to popular belief, people tend to be less likely to commit suicide during the holiday season, perhaps because of an increase in available emotional support. While this theory may make a lot of sense, it still important to note that each of us could find a way to help each other avoid holiday blues.
Within the family, it’s the elderly members that are often susceptible to this kind of depression during the holidays. They live far away from their loved ones and they are most likely to get nostalgic and lonely as the snow starts to fall. Depression among seniors could lead to more serious condition detrimental to their health. Assist them in overcoming lonely days during the holidays with these simple tips.
Light up their world
Seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, is a form of depression that is closely related to the winter season, and therefore, seems to increase in frequency around the holidays. It’s not the holidays that cause this depression because it’s simply triggered by the short, dark, cold days of winter. Nonetheless, to avoid this, you can give your elderly parents or grandparents a full spectrum lamp. Using this type of artificial light for at least twenty minutes a day can lessen SAD. It’s a great present that you can even give to yourself.
Get them involved
Having the feeling of being left out could be one of the reasons for an individual to feel depressed. Getting your elderly loved ones involved in any activity like preparing dessert or even doing an online gift shopping will make them feel needed and recognized. If you haven’t trimmed your tree yet, this is a good time to ask about their opinion on how to decorate it. Invite them over not only for Christmas dinner but also to ask for their tips in preparing that mouthwatering dish the whole family loves. This will certainly get them into the mood to socialize and interact with others. And who knows, this may make them excited for a night of dance of karaoke.
Get them moving
Some people love doing it, but being idle and doing nothing could actually lead to feeling down. This could be very common among seniors who miss being on the go during this time of the year. Instead of leaving them this way, encourage them to get moving by attending community activities and events specially organized for seniors during the holidays. Another great activity to do is brisk walking, an exercise good for the heart, only of course if the weather is bearable outside. It’s not only good for the health, it’s also an excellent activity that you can join in to bond and catch up with them.
Contact and communicate with them
Whether your elderly parents are living in a retirement home or have found sanctuary in a beach house in another town, always make it a point to communicate with them not only during the holidays but all year long. Get them in the loop of how their grandkids are doing by inviting them over, paying a visit, or simply calling or emailing them. Distance is no longer an excuse today not to get an update on anybody. To give your elderly loved ones the freedom to get in touch with you anytime, get them a phone that has features specially designed for seniors and has senior-friendly provider like Great Call. Constant communication will surely lessen the tendency to feel depressed when the holiday comes. It’s a simple act of love that you can show to the elderly and to anyone important to you.
A blogger based in San Diego, California, Amanda Smith has a penchant for writing about technology and gadgets, travel and arts, health and wellness, and just about anything that tickles her fancy. When she’s not writing, she’s busy catching up on her favorite sitcoms with her yellow Labrador, Chandler Tribbiani. More of her works can be found at wordbaristas.com.
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