Providing care for your loved one can be difficult. Adding siblings to the mix can further complicate matters. And, the holidays are a cherry on top. While your siblings can be enormously helpful and your best support, they can also be a source of stress. Whatever emotions are stirred up, you’ll need patience and outside help is always an option. Get support so that you have a chance to enjoy the holidays with your family. If you aren’t ready for help, Caregiver.org has an incredible guide for caregiving with siblings. If you feel confident about your ability to share responsibility with your siblings, then the next step is to focus on your loved one.
Your loved one’s desires for care should be the primary focus. Asking them their opinions and making sure they are included in conversations can be difficult. The emotions the holidays stirs can be hard for everyone to deal with, and the worst problems are often brushed aside. Seasonal depression is a very real problem in elderly individuals. The causes of seasonal depression in the elderly are varied, but there are many things you can do to help. Here are some of the causes and signs of elderly depression during the holidays, and some of the things you can do to prepare for this trying time of year.
What Causes Elderly Depression During the Holidays?
There are a variety of possible causes of seasonal depression in the elderly, including:
- The absence of family members and friends who have passed away
- Separation from loved ones who live or work far away
- Loss of independence
- Loss of mobility (The inability to get to and from religious gatherings/services)
- Lack of disposable income & financial strain
- The inability to participate in holiday traditions
What Are the Signs of Seasonal Depression in the Elderly?
The signs of depression in the elderly may be difficult to spot:
- Changes in appetite and sleep habits
- Withdrawal from regular activities
- Lack of energy
- Lack of interest in daily activities that were once enjoyable
- Inability to concentrate
- Significant weight changes
What Can I Do?
The best defense against seasonal depression is a good offense. Planning and coordination with your loved one and other family members is of paramount importance to preventing elderly seasonal depression. Here are some steps you can take to do just that:
- Plan for this time of year with your loved one. If possible, try to include him/her in your regular holiday activities
- Talk to your loved one, and find out what their expectations are regarding their involvement in holiday activities
- Set expectations early and often. Talk to your loved one about your plans, and make them aware of what to expect during the holidays
- If you cannot spend time during the holidays with your loved one, coordinate with their home care provider to plan activities for this time
At Extended Family Home Care, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive, loving care to your loved one. We are more than happy to be there when you aren’t able. Some of the many activities our clients enjoy include, baking holiday cookies, holiday shopping, looking at decorations around the neighborhood and religious services. We can be there to assist your loved one in these activities, as well as provide companionship during the holidays.
What We Can Do
In-home care can provide many benefits in terms of individualized care for seniors, benefits that are often simply not available through live-in care facilities. Some examples include:
- Consistent, one-on-one care based on individual needs. Our caregivers’ attentions are always focused and thoughtful. Working with the same caregiver on each visit allows the client and their caregiver to develop a unique relationship, one that facilitates more personalized, familiar, and effective care.
- Personal space and flexible schedules. Through personalized in-home care, Extended Family caregivers are able to learn and work with our clients’ specific daily routines in the environments where our clients are most comfortable: their own homes.
- Collaborative care experience. At live-in facilities, visits and input from family members about their loved one’s care can be limited. With Extended Family, clients and their families can feel comfortable knowing that their personal, individualized well-being is their caregiver’s primary goal.
- Care that goes beyond minimum regulations. Live-in facilities are often staffed based on state regulations that cite minimum requirements for staff-to-resident ratios, total nursing hours provided, staff shift lengths, etc. Extended Family, on the other hand, organizes staffing to most effectively address each of our client’s particular needs.
At Extended Family Home Care, we understand that each of our clients is a unique individual with his or her own specific care needs, whether its for companionship or personal care. We work hard to meet those needs through specialized, one-on-one care that allows our clients and their families the most attention and flexibility possible. We provide personal, individualized care for your loved one so that they can enjoy the independence, familiarity, and dignity that comes along with living in their own home. The level of customized care that we work hard to provide holds at its core an understanding and respect for the individuality of each of the seniors with whom we work, and for their families.