It’s extremely common in seniors to not feel the Christmas cheer that follows this time of year, particularly in those who are adapting to a major life change, loss of loved ones or friends, and seasonal depression. In these cases, seniors may feel lacking the seasonal spark, but don’t be discouraged. You can help lift their spirits. Do away with the winter blues by following these simple strategies so everyone in the family can have a cheerful Christmas.
- Eliminate family stress inducers
- Spend time not money
- Make new memories and traditions
- Observe symptoms of depression
- Act thoughtfully
Let’s break these down a bit further.
The key to getting through the Christmas season is finding peace. During the holidays, remain calm and keep a positive attitude. Simply remind yourself the true meaning of Christmas to you. This will offer solitude to all around you. To stay positive, suggest fun activities to do together - like stringing the popcorn on the tree. This will offer a task for everyone to keep busy and happy.
Families who wish to exchange presents with their loved ones, but cannot afford to do so, often feel grief. Many seniors often find themselves wanting to do more than is possible within their means. At Regency, we suggest spending more time than money towards your loved ones this holiday season. Also, if you have extra time this Christmas, volunteer at the community kitchen to feed the hungry or donate coats to help those in need.
Making new memories, whether volunteering or stringing popcorn, is what Christmas is all about. It’s a time to get together with family and reminisce. Our senior residents love to share their stories and memories with those who will listen. Take the time this holiday season to share old memories and make new ones with the seniors in your life.
Seasonal depression is common in adults, and it is rapidly increasing within the senior community. This could be from a lack of sunlight or the harsh reminders of previous holidays, coping with life changes, or the loss of loved ones. Be mindful for the symptoms of depression, displaying low spirits.
Low spirits can also come from inability to meet expectations. In seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s, holidays just are not the same as they were before. The family dynamic at some level has changed. For many seniors suffering from memory loss, the holidays can be a confusing time. Be thoughtful and use caution to not make them feel anxious or elevate confusion when they are struggling.
Our holiday mission at MorningSide of College Park is to remind everyone why we celebrate Christmas. In our senior living community, we offer a multitude of on-campus activities to spark the seasonal spirit. These holiday activities may include:
- Baking Christmas treats
- Viewing Christmas movies
- Constructing Christmas cards
- Wrapping gifts
- Decorating their space
- Making ornaments
- Singing Christmas carols
- And many more!
The holidays are the time to be surrounded by family – that is the greatest gift, after all. Help us make this Christmas season special for the senior in your life. Whatever the season holds for you, MorningSide is honored to celebrate these special times with you and your family. Happy Holidays!
Written by: Katie Hanley