7 Ways To Help Seniors Beat The Holiday Blues

As the leaves turn and winter approaches, many of us anticipate the holiday season with joy. We reminisce about the year and look forward to family gatherings. We also browse the Internet for gift ideas, thumb through our favorite recipes, and put on holiday music. Yet, for many, the holiday season inspires loneliness, sadness, and anxiety. Holidays can be particularly difficult for seniors. Many remember a past they can no longer duplicate. Meanwhile, others fret about the demands of holiday entertaining. So, if you’re looking for ways to help seniors beat the holiday blues, read on to discover some of our favorite tips for the season.

Back view of senior man leaning head on hand pensively while sitting at dinner table during Christmas holidays, copy space

Effective Ways To Help Seniors Beat The Holiday Blues

  • Find ways to keep active together. Mild exercise and group activities can help seniors stay upbeat. Alternatively, you can take fun trips to the mall, go out to dinner, attend a play, or even participate in a new hobby together. The goal is to help your loved one stay engaged and happily occupied.
  • Invite seniors to help in preparations. Many seniors are experts at cooking, decorating, and gift-giving. It’s important to realize that seniors often want to be included in holiday planning. So, invite them to make holiday cookies, create simple holiday crafts, or decorate the house.
  • Keep up regular doctor visits. Seniors often hesitate to ask for help during the holiday season. Assure them you’ll still be available to take them to doctors’ appointments. Keep your senior in good health to stave off the likelihood of depression.
  • Share special moments together. Make a simple, delicious dinner, and invite your loved one to share it with you. Reminisce about favorite foods, and ask questions about your loved one’s favorite childhood meals.
  • Plan activities with children. Seniors can benefit greatly from interactions with young children. Youthful antics can entertain and amuse seniors, and shared laughter will brighten everyone’s spirits.
  • Enlist the help of therapy animals. Service animals can inspire calm in people. They don’t have complicated needs and share affection easily. More importantly, they can help contribute to an uplifting atmosphere in your home.
  • Take advantage of natural light. Full-spectrum or natural light is soothing and can mitigate the effects of mood disorders such as seasonal affective disorder. Consider adding full-spectrum light bulbs to your living space during dark winter days.

David York Agency Understands Seniors And Depression

For more about how to help seniors navigate the holiday season, be sure to explore David York Agency’s blog.

If you need more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 877.216.7676. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

For immediate help about caring for seniors during the holiday season, contact us.

5 Ways Dementia Caregivers Can Defeat Exhaustion

Many of us saw our parents as superheroes during our childhoods. They were there when we needed them. They kissed away our cuts and scrapes, destroyed scary shadows, and fought the boogie man. We never imagined anything could defeat them. Then we grew up, and our parents got older. Now, it’s time for us to be the superheroes. The enemy, however, is strong. Dementia is a terrible test of our resilience, and exhaustion is a very real challenge. In this article, we discuss 5 ways to give dementia caregivers a helping hand.

senior woman, 62 years old, dressed as superhero - caregiver concept

We Put on the Superhero Cape

We caregivers have our own lives to live. Our homes need cleaning, our spouses and children need our attention, and our careers have their own demands. Despite our resolve, we still get tired at the end of the day.

Super Tips to Try

At David York Agency, we understand your concerns. Below, we share some of our favorite tips for dementia caregivers.

  • Get plenty of rest. If you’re not rested, then you won’t have the energy to handle all the demands of caregiving. It’s equally important for you to recognize the specific signs of burnout. When you feel overwhelmed, depressed, or fatigued, ask for help. Take a day off and relax. Spend time with a friend or participate in your favorite hobby to unwind.
  • Eat a balanced and nutritious diet. Dollar Menu cheeseburgers and French fries may be tempting when you’re rushed or tired, but these foods often leave you feeling sluggish. In the long run, your health will suffer.
  • Have fun with your loved oneLaugh! Make the day enjoyable for your loved one as well as yourself. For example, if your senior loves to bake, make favorite recipes together. Keep the conversation light while you work.
  • Help them to develop a pleasant routine. Everyone has preferences. Learn when your senior likes to perform daily activities and make the necessary accommodations. Stick to the routine as much as possible, and make allowances for difficult days.
  • Set alarms on their cell phone. Many seniors don’t like relying on someone else to tell them what to do and when to do it. So, be sure to put descriptive labels on each alarm. If you or your senior need help with technology, David York Agency has qualified staff who can help.

The best caregivers are always learning. Try the wonderful resources at the Alzheimer’s Association website. Also, be sure to talk to your doctor for information specific to your situation.

Superheroes Need Some Sidekicks!

Dementia caregivers need not fight alone, for David York Agency is here to help. Our qualified staff of professional RN’s, LPN’s, and Personal Care Aides (PCA) are ready to provide assistance.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 877.216.7676. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

For more helpful tips and information, contact us today.

Tips to Give Caregivers the Care They Need

You probably know somebody who has taken on the role of caregiver, or you might be one yourself. This means you know firsthand how much time goes into the labor of love that is caregiving; time that can eventually drain a person’s physical and mental well-being if it isn’t balanced by activities that keep the caregiver happy and healthy. Caregivers often think of themselves last, and they frequently need a push from somebody to take a break.

If you know a caregiver who could use some rejuvenation, or if you are a caregiver yourself and feel burnt out, here are some ideas to recharge.

Get active

caregivers

Caregiving can be exhausting, and it can require quite a bit of physical strength and endurance. But, that doesn’t mean it is as fulfilling as sticking to an enjoyable exercise regiment. Some ideas for fun activities include dance classes, walking in a scenic park, or taking a leisurely bike ride alone or with a friend. It’s important to stay healthy as a caregiver and, when you don’t have a lot of time to devote to exercise, it’s essential to do activities that are enjoyable so you can get a mental break at the same time as you do something good for your physical health.

Be alone

Sometimes all a caregiver needs is some time alone to read a book, watch a good movie, or just meditate in stillness. If you are a caregiver who needs a break, seek out somebody to help you in your role as caregiver. Enlist another family member or hire a caregiver to take charge of dinnertime or some other time of day a few nights a week so you can get away undisturbed. And if you are friends with a caregiver who seems stressed out, step in to help. Don’t just offer to help, though. Be assertive by saying something like “I’ll come over to take care of dinner on Thursday night so you can go see that movie you’ve been talking about.” Caregivers often feel like they need to handle everything on their own and can feel guilty for handing over what they feel are their duties. Stepping in authoritatively will ease the guilt and help your friend. In the meantime, you will get a chance to bond with the person needing care, which will be rewarding for both of you.

Stay connected

It is crucial during this chapter in your life to stay connected to your caregiving friend, or, if you are the caregiver, to keep connected to your outside world. It can be easy to get drawn into caregiving and neglect your other relationships, but this can lead to anxiety, resentment, and depression. If you are a caregiver, make a point to see friends once a week, or if that’s not possible, talk on the phone with at least one friend a week. If you have a friend who is a caregiver, be sure to give him/her a call frequently to check in, and listen when your friend needs to vent.

 

Caregiving can be burdensome when you are exhausted and struggling to balance that role with your life, but when you are refreshed and taking care of yourself, it can be a wonderful way to bond with your loved one. For more ideas on how to care for yourself or your caregiving friend, contact us.

At the David York Agency, we are dedicated to providing the resources, advice, and high-quality home healthcare services that can make caregiving more manageable. For more information on David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the support you need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn. For additional information about the risk factors of heart disease or about getting in-home care for a loved one, contact us today.