Depression, Age & the Holidays…

This entry was posted on December 5, 2014 and is filed under Senior Care Concerns, Senior Health, Senior Lifestyle, Seniors & Family.

Great facts about depression

The holiday season is suppose to be “Merry & Bright”… but for some of us – the holiday season is something we dread rather than something that brings us delight.

After all your friends & family are gone… what then?

The holiday season can be especially hard on those of us who have lost our fair share of loved ones over the years or live far away from those we love. And, unfortunately – living a long life, usually includes missing your fair share of those people you loved – either far away or after death.

Did You Know?

58% of people over 65 believe depression is “normal” as you age

Perhaps holiday depression is due to unresolved lost we feel about the times we “wish” or “regret” we had with those people and that conflict especially if your loved one has “passed on” – making the ability to “make up for” or to “enjoy again” with them present is simply not possible.

It is true – time does heal the wounds of loss – but I can’t say you won’t miss your loved ones during the holiday – you will (especially if they were really important to you)! But you can CHOOSE how you react to missing them – read on to learn more…

How To “Un-Scrooge or Un-Grinch Yourself” for The Holiday Season

If you choosing to not give up on being merry this the holiday season in lieu of depression – here are some tips – both from personal experience and some great information provided by others.

How Your Holidays Can Still Be Merry for You
(not to mention – those you do get to share this holiday season with)

  1. Celebrate loved ones you miss by remembering GOOD times during the holidays – choose to not go stewing around about the NOT SO GOOD times. Bring out the traditions you can do to remember them and be happy you did get to share the time you DID get while this loved one was with you.- Was there a favorite dish that they would make that you loved? Ask your family to see if anyone has the recipe and make it for your holiday meal.- Or perhaps try decorating a part of your house in a way they would have appreciated.
  2. Don’t skip live, human contact. Loneliness breeds being a hermit and vise versa – break the cycle by getting out and interacting with others in ways that you can enjoy, even if the human contact is brief – it’s better than sulking in bed.
  3. Take time to appreciate those loved ones who are still alive with you today, so you won’t live with the regret that you didn’t take the time to appreciate those you love while you could in the future.
  4. Try smiling at yourself in a mirror. I know it sounds silly, but simply authentically smiling at yourself in the mirror can boost your mood.
  5. Hugging another human being can help your body create a “mood booster” hormone called Oxytocin which can help you feel better and closer to others.

Taking Longer Term Steps to Ease Depression’s Icy Hold

The good news about depression is that most cases are highly treatable with a combination of:

Medication Medication
Lifestyle Changes Lifestyle Changes
Did You Know?

It’s really best to get help, treatment and support – as some people live with depression for ALMOST A DECADE before they really look into treatment.

Not to mention Depression can lead to, be a sign of, or complicate other health issues –

Triggered by...
Clinical depression may be triggered by Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, cancer, and even arthritis
Greater Risk Greater Risk
Heart attack survivors and congestive heart failure patients have 3-4x greater risk of death within 6 months if depressed
Higher Costs
Healthcare costs are 50% higher for depressed seniors than those who aren’t under the affects of depression.

Get Help Through The Holidays

If you or a loved one is suffering from depression – AlwaysOn Home Care can help.

This holiday season – if you’re having trouble as you try to shake the Scrooge or Grinch of Holiday Depression – we hope that you do try to have a merry and bright holiday season with those you love and remembering in celebration those you’ve lost.

Our non-medical care givers can provide companionship, help run errands, and simply help keep the blues away this winter! Contact us to learn more as you receive a free in-home care consultation >