For most people, the holidays represent a wonderful time of year to share the joys of family and friendship. But for some older adults, this time of year can be extremely difficult if their mental, physical and emotional needs are not taken into consideration. This year, bring a little color to a senior to help avoid the holiday blues. Partners in HealthCare suggests a rainbow of possibilities to spruce up the season for elderly loved ones in the local community.
RED: In some cultures, red denotes purity, joy, and celebration. What better way to celebrate the joy of the season than to offer assistance in decorating an elderly family member’s house for the holidays? Don’t forget to also volunteer to help take down the decorations after the holidays!
ORANGE: Put some logs on the fire or light some candles and cozy up to reminisce about special times and people. Often, older people whose memories are impaired may have difficulty recalling recent events, but find it easy to share stories and observations from the past.
YELLOW: Turn on some lights and get out of the house. Shorter days and less sunlight cause people to tire earlier, especially as they get older.
GREEN: Eat healthy and avoid alcohol. Watch out for those heavy or carb-loaded foods that make a person feel tired. Also, alcohol is a depressant and should be drunk at parties and gatherings with moderation or not at all, as it can interfere with medications and increase some symptoms of the holiday blues.
BLUE: Many seniors feel depressed and sad during the holidays but hide this from friends and family because they don’t want to worry anyone by displaying these feelings. Encourage your loved ones to talk about it.
PURPLE: Make a senior feel like royalty and assign someone to be the day’s companion to the senior, making sure he or she is comfortable. Social connectedness is extremely important at holiday times, and spending quality time with senior family members can make it easier for them to be social.
Ensuring that an elderly loved one experiences joy during the holidays can seem challenging at first, but there are many available resources to help. Oftentimes an extra pair of hands, such as Partners in Healthcare provides, can be helpful for dealing with a frail family member’s everyday tasks of cleaning, cooking, transportation and shopping, so that the concentration can be on spending quality time together during the holidays. For more information about helping seniors in Orlando beat the holiday blues, please contact us at 407-788-9393.
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