Some seniors may feel lonely after all their children have moved out. However, many others are actually pleased and ready to enjoy life, especially if their children hung around at home much longer than they should have. But, even those seniors who are happy to be living alone may feel lonesome during the holidays especially if they do not have a partner or spouse. Well, you are not alone. Almost 30% of seniors in the United States live on their own.
Make the holiday enjoyable even if you’re alone
You don’t need your children with you to enjoy the holidays. Although it would be nice to see them, just remember that you are your own best friend and you can enjoy all by yourself. If you live on your own, you probably enjoy it that way. That is why most seniors choose to live alone. After taking care of everyone else, it is nice to have some time to yourself and not have to entertain or care for anyone. You can do whatever you want. Go out for dinner, see a movie, or just stay at home and spoil yourself. Eat a nice Christmas meal and watch your favorite Christmas show on television – you have all the time.
Invite your friends over
You don’t have to be alone if you don’t want to. Invite people over, go to a community center or attend a gathering in your neighborhood. Almost all churches have holiday celebrations that you can attend. You can do that as well. If you have trouble getting around, call your local elderly care rideshare program or the church may be able to send someone to pick you up. You have these choices. Don’t just sit around at home and be sad or lonely.
Signs of Depression
One of the most common mental health conditions that affect seniors is depression and it is especially noticeable during the holidays. In fact, according to Mental Health America, more than 2 million adults over the age of 65 have this condition. Here are some signs of depression:
- Sad or unusually unhappy for longer than two weeks
- Memory loss or difficulty concentrating
- Extreme fatigue
- Lack of interest in activities that are normally enjoyed
- Weight loss or gain
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Eating more or less than usual
- Not showering or wearing the same clothes every day
- Stress and anxiety
- Feeling worthless or helpless
- Strange or irresponsible behavior
- Thinking of death or suicide
What you can do about depression
The first thing you need to do is to talk to someone about it. If you or someone you love is suffering from depression, it is best to talk to a professional. There are many options and you don’t even have to make an appointment if you prefer to do therapy online. This is much easier than finding a therapist in your area, setting an appointment, and then going to the office to see the therapist. During the holidays, it is difficult to get an appointment anyway. However, with online therapy, you do not need an appointment and can talk to a therapist anytime you need to. All you need is a computer, smart phone, tablet, or other electronic device. Happy holidays.
Written by Marie Miguel