As we enter the holiday season, a time to be thankful for our bounty and to share it with others, there are many who find this time difficult because of memories of past holiday seasons, isolation, and loneliness triggering seasonal depression or the Holiday Blues. In fact, an estimated six million Americans over the age of 65 have reported feeling down during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. But there are ways you can help.
Last week when I was on the Coffeebreak with Karees Reilly, Director of Sales and Marketing for Flagstone Senior Living, she shared four tips from Milestone Retirement about how to help your older loved ones avoid the Holiday Blues – and can also be used for supporting our family and friends of all ages during the holidays.
1. Take time to smell the turkey. The holiday season can be a stressful, busy time: running around purchasing gifts, putting up the Christmas decorations, cooking that special meal. But try not to let your daily to-do list get in the way of spending time with older family members. Remember, something as simple as a fifteen-minute phone call can brighten someone’s day.
2. The more the merrier. The holidays take preparation. And there is plenty to do. Avoid the habit of trying to do everything by yourself. Instead, ask your parents, children or friends to assist you. It’s always more fun to do things together than alone.
3. Make someone else's holiday special. Try volunteering with your loved one. There are many holiday activities needing volunteers. For example, you could help clean up after the Community Thanksgiving Dinner organized by the Salvation Army. And there is the ELFF (Everyone Loves a Firefighter) canned food drive that needs folks to collect and sort the donated food items between 6:00 and 9:00 on December 3 – 5. To learn how to volunteer, call MCFR at 541-296-9445.
4. Celebrate the present, but don’t forget the past. Many older adults suffering from the Holiday Blues are mourning the loss of loved ones and aren’t ready to make new holiday memories without them. You can pay special remembrance to family members who have passed away by looking at old photos, making their favorite foods, or going around the room and sharing your favorite memories about them. By acknowledging deceased family members, you remind your loved ones that although the people who played such crucial roles in their holiday memories are gone, they’re certainly not forgotten.
During this holiday season, life’s difficulties can take center stage. We all struggle with our own personal challenges, and yet if you take time, you’ll find much to be thankful for. I wish you the very best and a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Save the date. The Center invites you to its annual Holiday Breakfast from 8:00 – 9:30 on December 14th serving all-you-can-eat French Toast, sausage, and scrambled eggs, plus fruit, juice and coffee. $6.00 and $3.00 for children twelve and under.
The American ballroom dancer and businessman whose name is most often associated with the dance studio chain that bears his name is Arthur Murray. I received correct answers from Jeannie Pesicka, Cheri Brent, Lana Tepfer, Diana Weston, Carol Earl, Jim Ayers, Sherry Dufault, Rhonda Spies, Doreen Bryant and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Barbara Cadwell whose sister worked at an Arthur Murray studio in Calgary, Alberta right after she graduated from high school. But had to find another job when she married because at that time, they didn’t allow married women to teach. And last week I missed Virginia McClain Delores Schrader.
Remember the sayings describing good manners which aren’t always followed anymore? "Never brag about yourself", "Leave a place as you found it", and “Always put the toilet seat down” – sorry, that last one was one of my wife’s commandments!
Here is one I was told when growing up, but these days I often ignore, (and no it is not “Keep your mouth shut when chewing”). For this week’s “Remember When” question, what are you not supposed to put on the table when eating? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a picture of a family dinner scene from Father Knows Best.
Well, it’s been another week, listening to the geese chatter as they fly south. Until we meet again, you know you are getting old when someone mentions a television rerun and you remember watching the show when it first aired.
“Give thanks not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day of your life. Appreciate and never take for granted all that you have.” Catherine Pulsifer