The holidays are always a fun time of the year, especially for seniors. However, when the last day of the season comes, it is time to get back to the regular grind. But this can be a surprisingly stressful experience for older people. Here, providers of home health care offer some handy advice on dealing with post-holiday stress.
Why The Post-Holiday Season Is Stressful
So, you might wonder why your older loved ones might feel more fidgety and upset once they realize that the holidays are ending. There are several reasons why your loved ones might have the blues. Understanding these will help you better help your loved ones with the post-holidays.
The Winding Down Of Activities
According to research, the holidays induce an adrenaline rush in your body as you go through the various activities associated with the season. Once it comes to an end, your adrenaline levels also start to drop, giving you a feeling of being spent.
Due to their advanced age, seniors might feel the effect of this decrease in adrenaline more significantly. As such, they might start feeling more down than others. They may also respond to that depression more strongly.
Coupled with the adrenaline rush, the holidays can also be a very emotional period. There is the excitement of family and friends you have not seen for a long time. You also deal with the various ups and downs of the holiday preparations.
On the other hand, your elderly loved ones might find themselves feigning happiness. That can sometimes happen when they deal with difficult situations before the season. They suppress their emotions so as not to ruin the mood. However, doing this can be a draining experience.
The Fear Of Being Alone
As mentioned earlier, the holidays are the times when we get together with relatives and friends that we haven’t seen in a long while. However, the end of the holidays might signal that they will be parting ways again. Because of this, your elderly loved ones might become anxious as the date approaches.
That is especially the case with seniors who live alone or stay at nursing homes. Here, they might display odd behavior like as not wanting to see you days before you are to leave. That is their way of telling you to not go.
How Long Does Post-Holiday Stress Last?
At this point, you might wonder how long such post-holiday stress lasts. That depends on the person. For most people, it might last for a few days. After that, you will feel well again.
For seniors, this can be different depending on their mental condition. Those who have conditions like dementia might take it a lot harder and wallow in it a lot longer. However, some older people might get over it a lot quicker as if nothing happened.
Some Symptoms To Watch Out For
Under normal circumstances, post-holiday stress and depression can come and go without much effect on your older loved ones. However, there might be instances where you feel the following symptoms.
- Inability to sleep or excessive sleeping
- Significant weight gain or loss
- Difficulty concentrating or indecisiveness
- Severe fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
If your elderly loved ones exhibit these symptoms as the holidays draw to a close, they might be experiencing more than just stress. In this case, you should consult a doctor for a diagnosis.
How You Can Help Your Elderly Loved Ones Deal With Post-Holiday Stress
It might come as a surprise but helping your older loved ones deal with post-holiday stress starts well before the holiday season. Your goal here is to get them better prepared for the season.
Setting The Right Goals
The first thing you want to help your older loved ones with is setting their holidays goals. Ask them what they want to do for the season. For instance, they might want to hold a small gathering for family and peers.
Determine how feasible these goals are in their current situation. In some cases, you might need to tweak these plans to accommodate various things. Explain to them why you need to make the changes.
Creating Their Holiday Schedule
Another handy strategy for helping seniors deal with holiday and post-holiday stress is by helping them create their routines. The idea here is to create something they can readily get into and out of after the season. Consider how this routine would jive with their existing ones.
But don’t forget that you also need to involve your elderly loved ones in planning their routines. Ask them about the activities they want to do and when they want to do these. That encourages them to be more mindful of that routine.
Staying Connected After The Holidays
As we mentioned earlier, the holidays are sometimes the only moment seniors get to see their family and friends. However, you can look for ways to help them stay connected with these people.
The miracle of technology has made it a lot easier. With social media, for instance, you can use video chat to let your loved ones connect with them. Talk with these relatives so that they can have regular chat sessions.
But you would also want to set some get-together activities from time to time. That can include things like going on outings or even just spending a short time at home. Do this as often as everyone’s schedule permits to help your elderly loved ones stay in touch.
Help Them Get Some Exercise
As we all know, the holidays can affect our health routines. Help your elderly loved ones get back in shape by encouraging them to exercise. Start by doing simple exercises to get them going. You can then gradually get them going back to a full workout.
Home health care services like Amavi can help you connect with physical therapists and trainers that could help your loved ones more.
Help Them Reflect On The Holidays
The holiday season is a time for great memories. So, why not look back at those memories together? Browse through the pictures that you have taken of the different happenings. Ask them what they like about those moments and listen to their stories.
It would also be a good idea to ask them about their plans for future holidays. You can go further and help them out in making these plans. That is a great strategy to uplift their spirits and help them look forward to coming occasions.
Help Seniors Post Holiday With The Best Home Health Care Services
Like everyone else, seniors look forward to the holidays. As such, you want it to be a fun time for them before, during, and after. With the help of the best home health care services, you make that happen.