Seniors are not exempt from seasonal holiday depression. In fact, they are likely to become depressed during holidays for several reasons. Many of their friends may be far away or may have passed over the last few years, and often they are isolated from social contact with others.
Whether you are caring for a senior or know someone who fits this description, there are several things you can do to help avoid or manage seasonal depression.
Suggest To Families That They Visit More Often
Loneliness is a prime contributing factor to seasonal depression. Visiting someone you know is alone, and inviting them to your home for holiday celebrations can give them a boost and a chance to interact with people. If your senior is physically able, you can ask them to help in preparations and cooking to make them feel more at home. If not, then inviting them to eat with you or join group games is something you can do. For seniors who are seriously disabled or ill, stop by their home and sit and talk to them once or twice a week to help them feel more included. You can also take videos of your holiday preparation to show them when you visit.
Make Sure They are Healthy
Physical ailments can easily lead to moodiness or depression. As a concerned caregiver, make sure your senior is taking their medication, getting exercise, and visiting the doctor regularly.
Invite Them to Mild Exercise
Mild exercise is good for seniors as it stimulates the body and mind. Invite your senior for a short walk or yoga class if they are able to take part. Getting outdoors is good for seniors as long as the weather cooperates. If you can’t exercise outdoors, then try visiting a museum or go shopping to get some walking in.
Add Some Natural Light
If you live in an area that is devoid of much sunlight, try adding extra light in the home. Many people find that full-spectrum light can help alleviate depression because it mimics natural light.
Add Laughter to Their Day
Laughter truly is the best medicine and you can help your senior better enjoy their day through playing games, reminiscing, and trying something silly. See if you can find something fun to add to your senior’s life by sparking laughter. Laughter is a good way to improve your senior’s mood.