The holiday season, specifically Christmas is often described as the “most wonderful time of year.” Unfortunately, not every year will hold that sentiment, especially for our older population. Holidays can trigger feelings of loss, loneliness, stress, and can lead to depression.
Depression is not exclusive to any one generation, but our older generation are often impacted due to their longevity, and life experiences. They have lost their husband of 60 years, maybe an adult child has passed on, or they are watching their friends pass. They could be in the middle of an imminent health crisis themselves that feels hopeless at times. There are many reasons for depression including feelings of grief and melancholy, or even memories of the holidays when all was right with their world.
Reaching out to our team would be an excellent resource for you. Whether you are local or live a couple of time zones away, you may get frustrated when you don’t get clear answers from your aging mom or dad. It is often difficult for them to articulate what is wrong or what they are feeling. The most important part of the work we do when we partner with you, your aging parent, and involved family members is to be an objective listener to draw out what your loved one has been trying to communicate, or even those things that they don’t want to tell you because they don’t want you to worry. Having an advocate, who has seen this before, is a success-based option for you and your family.
Here are some behaviors that you may be observing.
- There is a change in their eating habits. They are barely eating and are losing weight rapidly or they are overeating and gaining weight.
- Sleep disruptions. They may be waking up throughout the night, perhaps there is a concern about sleep apnea, or they decide they don’t want to get out of bed.
- Personal hygiene is neglected. They refuse to shower or bathe or even are taking multiple showers or baths each day.
- Complaints about how difficult like has become. They keep bringing up the beauty of the memories of life in the past.
- Low energy. A general malaise and lack of interest in activities.
- Distracted and slow responses in conversations. They appear to have trouble coming up with thoughts and words when visiting.
There are other signs that may indicate their sadness or grief in a different manner. Regardless, if you notice changes and suspect something reach out and we’ll help you get it properly diagnosed and help with care options.
Remain positive and rely on your care manager. Help your loved one see there is a future and hope regardless of where they are in life. By using pictures and talking with them, you can share memories and can share your current life.
Depression is an illness that has specific treatment which requires consistent monitoring. Our team is educated and resourceful, using experience to see your loved one through their diagnosis and follow up to keep it from recurring. If you are concerned about a loved one’s risk for depression, please give us a call at 803-215-1019 or email us at email@example.com to find out how we can help.