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How Depression Can Impact Seniors This Holiday Season

While the holiday season is generally thought of as a joyous time spent with family and friends, individuals with depression are often filled with feelings of sadness, isolation and anxiety.

Seniors especially are prone to feeling sad during the holidays. This can be a result of losing loved ones, being away from family or feeling frustrated with aging. Many seniors who have depression fail to seek treatment, making the holiday season even more tumultuous since they are unsure of how to properly cope with their feelings. If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, know that you are not alone, and that help is available.

What Is Depression?


Depression is a mental health disorder that negatively impacts not only how you feel, but how you act and think as well. Feelings of sadness are unavoidable, so you shouldn’t panic if you feel troubled or upset every now and then. Depression, however, means you have persistent feelings of sadness that change the way you go about your daily life. This illness is unique in that anyone can be affected by it, regardless of race, gender, age or class. Your genetic makeup can make you more prone to depression, so take note of your family history if you are concerned about a loved one’s mental health. Environmental factors also contribute to the development of depression, such as being exposed to violence, poverty or abuse for an extended period of time. Diagnosing depression isn’t a straightforward process, as symptoms for the disorder can vary from mild to severe. Common symptoms include:

  • Regularly feeling sad or gloomy
  • Loss of energy/interest in formerly enjoyed activities
  • Trouble focusing
  • Feelings of worthlessness and helplessness
  • Drastic changes in weight and/or sleeping patterns

How the Holidays Factor In

As a holiday enthusiast, you might have trouble understanding how the holiday season could intensify an individual’s depression. Seniors who see others enjoying themselves and loving one another will often feel isolated and depressed about their own personal circumstances. The expectations that come with the holidays, from managing family obligations to shopping for others, can further contribute to feelings of anxiety and sadness.

If you’re having trouble staying positive this holiday season, take a deep breath and relax. Know that your feelings and thoughts are shared by others and that there are steps you can take towards combating the holiday blues. If you notice that your mood often takes a turn for the worse during the winter months, you may have seasonal affective disorder.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)


Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a specific type of depression that is characterized by feelings of fatigue, sadness and helplessness during the colder months of the year. These feelings are brought on by the fact that life typically slows down during the Winter. With less hours of sunlight, frigid temperatures and a harder time traveling, you’re much more likely to remain dormant in your home. Isolating yourself intensifies feelings of loneliness and depression, as minimal social interactions makes you resort to contemplating your life and purpose.

Since SAD is a subtype of depression, symptoms for these two disorders are very similar. An individual who has been diagnosed with depression is far more susceptible to SAD than the average person, as their already complex feelings are only heightened by the gloomy weather. The effects of SAD on seniors can often result in substance abuse issues, including addictions to alcohol, tobacco or other harmful drugs. While it’s not uncommon to feel down in the dumps during the Winter season, you should be wary of your day-to-day feelings as Winter rages on. If you notice a shift in personality and/or mood in your parents or grandparents as the seasons come and go, you may want to explore treatment options for SAD to ensure your loved one’s complete well-being.


Treating Depression

With over 6 million seniors (65+) diagnosed, depression in the elderly is more common than you think. Knowing how to help a senior with depression is likely uncharted territory for you. However, simply showing your love and support for your loved one as they learn to face their depression can make a huge difference in their life. Treatment for seasonal affective disorder often includes light therapy, which helps manage your mood by triggering chemicals in your brain that are produced by artificial light. For cases of depression, medication and therapy are two proven methods to help those struggling with their negative feelings. Speak with your doctor if you have any reason to believe that your loved one is depressed. An early diagnosis and treatment will greatly improve the likelihood of your elder’s ability to enjoy the holidays to the utmost extent.

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Client Reviews

24 Hour Home Care review summary

Reviewer: Patricia
Patricia 2020-09-18 via Google
I like working for 24hr home care because they allow me to have a flexible schedule and I can take advantage of how far away from home I'd like to travel for work.
Reviewer: Liliana D
Liliana D 2020-09-18 via Google
Improving getting better and better really listen to our voice send us a recognition letter congratulating us as frontline workers, send us a little gift for our performance, send us an gift certificate from amazon for school supplies pack of $30 dollars for our children looking forward for more improvements feels good to be recognize as a great frontline worker helps us get more motivated afterall thats going on. Ive never got anything or a congratulations from them ever its the first time in the 3 years ive work with them and today they call me to say happy bday i feel special. Thank you 24hr homecare
Reviewer: Tatyana
Tatyana 2020-09-18 via Google
Pros: It’s nice working here. With this agency, you have a very flexible schedule. There are a lot of 4-5 hour shifts, although they do offer overnight shifts as well from 8 hours, maybe 12. You can qualify for employee benefits after 1 year of working here. They have “emergency rate” wages as well, these are last minute shifts that can raise from $1-5 an hour; if they hired you at $14hr and they give you an (e-rate) emergency rate then it’ll probably be from $15, $16, $17+ depending on the case. Traveling is required and they did have a virtual interview with me. They have employees working 24 hours if you decide to call them. They use the CC-Go app to clock in and clock out. They also give you a link to a corporate perks website that will give you discounts on phones, plane tickets, hotels ect. Cons: Communication with the office/managers can be difficult at times because when you call, anyone/random person can answer. My personal recommendation as a company request for employee(s): Sending each caregiver a “care package” in a ziplock bag with gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, ect. in case a facility or client doesn’t have the supplies needed. Having these “care packages” would help the company prevent any further sicknesses when dealing with urination and bowel movements if anything were to happen.
Reviewer: Samantha
Samantha 2020-09-13 via Google
Highly recommend!
Reviewer: Samantha
Samantha 2020-09-13 via Google
Great, award-winning company!
Reviewer: Samantha
Samantha 2020-09-13 via Google
Great company! Highly recommend.
Reviewer: CAROL
CAROL 2020-08-01 via Google
Reviewer: Laura
Laura 2020-06-12 via Google
Our care givers are loving, friendly and devoted. They are family! Thank you for being here for us.
Reviewer: Richard
Richard 2020-06-09 via Google
Our Care-giver Mudrakat is a blessing for us, with a big heart, and a very professional approach and skills - she will go far...
Reviewer: Raul
Raul 2020-05-28 via Google
Great place to work for!

The Most Trusted Caregivers

The success of our clients and company is entirely dependent on the quality of our caregivers. We make certain to find and provide our senior clients with the industry's best caretakers so that they have a positive in-home care experience. We submit all of our caregivers through nationwide background checks, assessment tests, and verify multiple references. All of our caregivers are required to be compassionate, reliable, experienced, and above all else, TRUSTWORTHY. We understand that you are entrusting your loved one's home and well-being with our company, and we take that very seriously.

24 Hour Home Care® is committed to improving the lives of our senior clients. By assisting seniors with their daily living activities, we are able to keep them at home where they are comfortable and allow them to thrive during this chapter of their lives. Not only do we strive to exceed customer satisfaction, but we strive to exceed employee satisfaction. We want all of our caregivers to be proud and happy to work for 24 Hour Home Care® so that they will provide the best senior home care possible!


Reach out to your local 24 Hour Home Care® representative to receive a free in-home consultation today!

So that you and your loved one can experience the 24 Hour Home Care® difference!