Do you or someone you love struggle with holiday blues?  Holidays can be stressful for the elderly and their caregivers.  What is supposed to be a joyous time, can instead be stressful or can cause depression.  It’s normal to feel some stress or depression during the holiday season.  For some, missing a loved one who has passed or changes in family traditions can cause blue moods.  It’s important to recognize those feelings and acknowledge them.  Talking about feelings of depression can help relieve these symptoms. 

Changes in family traditions can be difficult.  If your loved one always planed and hosted the holiday get together, and are no longer able to because they are in a nursing home or assisted living facility there are ways to include them to help with the transition from host to honored guest. 

  1. Include them in the planning process, ask them about menus and have them help plan the meals.
  1. Invite them over help prepare meals and allow extra time so they don’t feel rushed to complete the task as quickly as they used to. 
  1. Allow time to reminisce about days gone by.  Talk about family that has passed, put up pictures of loved ones and discuss the good times shared with them.
  1. Take breaks as needed, allow yourself time to breath and relax.  Mental and physical breaks can and will help with depression. 

Lower your expectations.  Just because it’s always been done a certain way doesn’t mean it has to always be that way.  Focus on spending time with family and friends and let the rest wait.