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Caregiver Training Blog

Recognizing the Signs of Holiday Depression in Older Adults

depressed_ladyThe holidays can be a difficult and emotional time of year for some seniors. Seniors who are no longer able to travel to see friends and family are faced with the reality of their disabling condition. It is important as a caregiver to recognize this type of depression in older adults, and come up with ideas that might cheer them up. There are several things that can be done to get the senior smiling and in the holiday cheer.

Learn the Signs of Depression in Seniors

Learning how to recognize the signs of depression is an important step in helping a senior through the crisis. Some changes that may be a sign that something is wrong with a senior is decreased appetite, lack of care when it comes to personal hygiene, irritability, not sleeping well and decreased interest in socializing with other. If the senior in your life appears to be going through these changes it is important to get them the help needed.

Discuss Concerns with a Health Care Professional

Although, you might suspect depression it is important to get a health care providers opinion. Some of these symptoms could also be related to other medical conditions. Note when you first began to notice these changes in the senior. It is important to be able to give the health care provider detailed information

Bring Family to the Senior for the Holidays

Many times family members are just waiting for an invitation to visit family and friends. Ask these members if they could spend the holidays this year with you and the senior. It is a good idea to make plans well in advanced so meals and sleeping arrangements can be made.

Decorate for the Holidays

Just because the aging adult is no longer active to travel, decorating the home with festive decorations is a great way to lift the spirits and spread holiday cheer.  Allow the senior to help as much as they can with decorating. If the senior is a person that enjoys cooking special dishes during the holidays, offer your assistance with making them this year. 

Find out more about depression and caring for older adults by utilizing online videos and tutorials. Make this holiday season a special one with the senior in your life.

mmLearn.org offers videos for caregivers of older adults. We have 300+ videos covering a broad range of topics relating to the care of older adults. The videos are helpful for both the caregiver as well as the care-receiver.