The holiday season is almost upon us! But while it may be a festive, happy time for many, the season can also sometimes take a negative toll on older loved ones.
According to the American Medical Resource Center, there are some 6 million people over the age of 65 who suffer from depression, and the holidays can be difficult for many – especially if they’re away from family and friends.
Don’t let your loved one feel the holiday blues with these 5 tips:
- Plan activities with all your loved ones
It’s just about time to get all your ducks in a row for the holidays. When it comes to planning events, be sure to include any elderly family members in the celebration. “The possibilities are endless,” says Rita Pridemore of Vistelan Healthcare, a health care services firm in Summerville. “Think holiday shopping, checking out holiday lights around the neighborhood or attending some local Summerville festivities.” Vistelan Healthcare members can assist your loved one with shopping and lunch in historic downtown Summerville.
- Can’t get mom or dad out of the house? Bring the festivities to them!
Have family members that aren’t quite so mobile? “Don’t leave anyone out just because they’re unable to get out of the house,” Pridemore says. “It’s especially important in this case to reach out to your loved ones!” Pile the kids in the car to visit their grandparents and bring or make dinner so there’s no stress on anyone in particular to make a big meal. Break out the holiday movies or spend time baking and decorating holiday cookies together. “Vistelan Healthcare can also help prepare meals at home, bake cookies for someone special or assist with holiday wrapping and decorating,” Pridemore says.
- Remember – laughter really can be the best medicine
It’s actually not just a saying. Laughter therapy is being used to help people live better, happier lives. Organizations ranging from AARP to Cancer Treatment Centers of America have adapted laughter therapy as a way to help patients ease stress and depression, but you don’t need a formal program to take advantage. Get the laughs going by reliving some of your favorite memories with loved ones, break out the photo albums and home videos, or play a fun game of holiday-themed charades.
- Check in often
Even if distance is an obstacle, be sure to let your loved ones know you’re always there for them, especially during the holiday season. “Give your family members a call regularly and check for signs of depression or withdrawal,” Pridemore says. She suggests using FaceTime or other video-sharing technologies for long-distance holiday visits. “A licensed in-home health care provider can also provide vital services for families during the holidays by offering family members feedback regarding concerns, changes or overall well-being of their loved one,” Pridemore adds.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a hand from a professional
Things can get hectic during the holidays, and it can be difficult to keep up by yourself. Ensure that your senior loved ones are feeling the love throughout the holiday season and during the year by calling on Charleston’s Vistelan Healthcare.
If you’re considering private senior care for a loved one in need, Vistelan is licensed, bonded and insured. Their executive team has more than 50 years of health care experience. Whether you’re looking for in-home companionship, daily personal assistance, or 24-hour care, the staff at Vistelan Healthcare provides unparalleled service. Vistelan Healthcare also provides transportation, health care assessments, companion services, certified nursing assistants, pediatric nursing, meal preparation and homemaker services, as well as medication reminders for clients.
To learn more about the private senior care they offer, call 843-771-0292 or visit vistelan.com.