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Older Americans and the holiday blues

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The holiday blues are not always depression and affect older Americans more, because of the loss of a spouse, the loss of independence, or just the fact it is a hard time of the year for them. An older American has lived many years and in many cases seniors struggle to decorate, shop, prepare a meal for the holiday. Many older Americans have families that live hundreds of miles away, and this can add to the sadness and depression of the holiday, because the older American can start to feel sad that they can’t move around like they did when they were younger.

One out of every four older Americans (age 65 or older) already suffers from depression, and more than seventy percent of older Americans fell isolated and lonely with one-third of older Americans that are not living any type of facility, lives alone. This time of year is very hard for many older Americans, because they have lost people they loved, and the added fact they are not as mobile as they were to visit friends or decorate, or shop for Christmas presents.

Older Americans and their families need to understand there is a difference between the holiday blues and actual full blown depression. The holiday blues are only temporary and do go away when the holiday season ends. Senior depression is often mistaken for other age-related issues, stress-related events such as the holidays triggers a depressive episode. There are things that can be done to help alleviate some of the stress and sadness. Older Americans always acknowledge your feelings, and remember you have the right to feel how you are feeling. In addition, if you are feeling lonely and alone reach out to your community or friends. Do not allow yourself to be alone this time of year, and always be realistic. The holidays do not have to be perfect, and always set aside differences and accept your family members for who they are not who you want them to be. There are many more things that can be accomplished to prevent the holiday stress and depression. Here are a couple of websites to visit to learn of ways to alleviate the holiday blues and depression.

http://www.beliefnet.com/Health/Health-Support/Illness-and-Recovery/Healing-The-Holiday-Blues.aspx

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/MH00030

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