Seniors Can Beat the Holiday Blues
People of all ages can suffer the "holiday blues," but the upcoming season of celebrations, parties, and get-togethers can be particularly difficult for older adults, according to the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) and its Foundation for Health in Aging.
"Older people may feel melancholy this time of year because the holidays remind them of times past, and loved ones who have died or moved away," says foundation Chair Meghan Gerety, MD, Chief of Staff of the New Mexico VA Health Care System. "Health conditions or concerns about money can also make it harder for older adults to enjoy the holidays the way they once did."
To help older adults cope, the American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health in Aging (FHA) has released a comprehensive and easy-to-understand tip sheet, "Tips for Beating the Holiday Blues." Among other things, the tip sheet advises older people to ask for additional assistance if they need help traveling to or preparing for holiday events. It encourages them to talk with confidantes about their feelings, including feelings of loss and sadness, and alerts them to warning signs of depression, urging those with these symptoms to see their healthcare providers.
In addition, the tip sheet offers advice to relatives and friends of older adults who seem to be experiencing the holiday blues. Finally, the tip sheet guides older adults and their loved ones to the foundation's website, www.healthinaging.org, which offers easy-to-understand information on depression and myriad other health conditions affecting older people. The tip sheet, like all other information on the site, can be printed, copied and shared at no cost.
Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society www.americangeriatrics.org is a nationwide, not-for-profit association of geriatrics health care professionals dedicated to improving the health, independence, and quality of life of all older people.
The American Geriatrics Society’s Foundation for Health in Aging (FHA) aims to build a bridge between geriatrics health care professionals and the public, and advocate on behalf of older adults and their special needs: wellness and preventive care, self-responsibility and independence, and connections to family and community.
Photo: Andres Romero, U.S. Administration on Aging
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