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​Is Holiday Depression in Seniors Real?

Have you ever heard of holiday depression? It may seem hard to believe that people become depressed during what is often portrayed as the happiest season—winter holidays. However, studies show that cases of depression rise with the approach of the holidays, and seniors are especially vulnerable.

Home Care Services in Calera AL: Holiday Depression
Home Care Services in Calera AL: Holiday Depression

If you are a family caregiver and don’t know much about holiday depression, it’s wise for you to learn about the risk factors and symptoms of holiday depression. Seniors are often underdiagnosed for depression, especially holiday depression. Sometimes it takes putting the pieces together after hearing from friends, elder care providers and other family members to realize something is going on. Once you are informed, you can help your aging relative get the treatment they need.

What is Holiday Depression?

While everyone feels stressed, overwhelmed or even blue as the winter holidays approach, holiday depression is something different. Holiday depression is an amplified and enhanced version of depression that is triggered by the events of this time of year, such as finances, grief, loneliness, isolation, fear, worry and hopelessness. Seniors who are at a higher risk of developing depression may discover that both external triggers and seasonal changes can cause this serious affective disorder.

Doesn’t Holiday Depression Go Away On Its Own?

Holiday depression can really interfere with a senior’s life and while it may lessen or seem to go away on its own when spring arrives, the factors are still present and can surface again next year or at any time. Seniors endure plenty of life changes, like poor health, losing a spouse or siblings, increasing financial stress, and internal fears and worries about mortality. In short, holiday depression does not go away on its own, and seniors should work with a doctor on treating it.

How Can Family Caregivers Recognize Holiday Depression?

It may be difficult to recognize the symptoms of holiday depression in seniors, especially with the hustle and bustle of the season. Family caregivers, friends, and elder care providers should be on the lookout for some of the more common signs. Examples include headaches, oversleeping or insomnia, lack of energy, poor focus, sadness or crying, irritation, anger and poor hygiene. Other warning signs include purposeful isolation, poor memory, guilty or hopeless feelings, and thoughts of suicide.

What is the Treatment for Holiday Depression?

If family members and elder care providers feel that the elderly adult is experiencing holiday depression, they must get them to a doctor for an evaluation. All forms of depression are treated similarly, with anti-depressant medication and talk therapy. Supporters can also make an effort to engage the elderly adult in positive, low-stress holiday activities and emphasize the positives by connecting them with family members and loved ones.

Your aging relative depends on you to help them with all areas of their life, from physical care and comfort to mental and emotional help. Holiday depression is quite real and can affect elderly adults significantly. The good news is that with the help of friends, doctors, and elder care providers, you can provide real help to your loved one.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Calera, AL,​ please contact the caring staff at Senior Legacy Care today. Call us at (205) 380-7418.

Susan Smith

Susan Smith is the owner of Senior Legacy, an independent non-medical senior in home care business.She began her entrepreneurial journey more than a decade ago by opening an accounting firm in 2005.In November of 2015 a very dear friend and client passed away, Steve Baldwin.Mr. Baldwin owned and operated a successful senior home care business in the Birmingham area. Susan had spent many hours over a span of several years with Mr. Baldwin discussing, strategizing and learning the senior care industry with him. After his passing, Susan’s heart went out to his clients and their caregivers.Her wish was to continue the caring legacy that he had shared with her.In October of 2016, Susan purchased and renamed the business to Senior Legacy to honor her old friend and as a reminder that pouring our lives into others is our true legacy.

Susan still owns and operates a successful accounting firm in Pelham.She believes that the combination of her business experience and compassion for others is a perfect blend to grow Senior Legacy into a leader in the senior home care industry.Susan is committed to the further growth of Senior Legacy’s clients, employees, and surrounding community.

Susan has four wonderful children, and three amazing grandkids.She loves spending time with her family and enjoys traveling and gardening in her down time.