The elderly may be dismayed by the holiday season due to a deceased spouse or friend. This despair could escalate, especially if families live far away or if the older adult suffers from a health problem. If you know a family member that may be at risk, there are warning signs and antidotes you should be aware of.
The most common warning signs are losing or gaining weight, being agitated or irritable, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, lack of interest or failure to attend to personal hygiene.
Of course, there are things you can do to combat these negative feelings. If you or your family has the means, you should visit that family member during the holiday. Companionship is what these loved ones need most during this time. If you have other relatives that live near this older adult, advise them to visit as well. You could also fly that relative to your home for the holidays. Other ideas include sending gifts and cards or phoning them daily. You should encourage him or her to see a doctor if the case is severe.
If you live far away from the family member you are concerned about, in-home care could help detect those warning signs and prevent the holiday blues from getting worse. In-home care allows the older members of our society to retain their independence while still getting the assistance they need. This form of elderly care allows patients to remain in the comfort of their own home, something most would consider a fundamental part of celebrating the holiday season. In-home care would also guarantee companionship and attention for your loved one, as well as the care of someone who is trained to look for these warning signs.