Unexpected Ways The Holidays Impact Aging Adults

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With December bringing with it colder weather and holiday preparations many of us are embracing the holiday season. For many, this is the most joyful and exciting time of year, but for some, it can have unexpected effects on their mental and physical health. Amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays, older adults may find themselves feeling depressed, lonely, and overwhelmed. To better understand how this holiday season can bring up difficult emotions for seniors we’ll take a look at some of the most common issues and how a senior living community can provide the resources and support aging adults need to manage unexpected challenges that come up during the holidays. Coping With Loss Is Harder At The Holidays The period of time from Thanksgiving to New Year is an important time of celebration and togetherness, but for some older adults holiday festivities may bring up fond memories that magnify the grief of missing lost loved ones. The sights, sounds, and smells of the holidays can be a vivid reminder of who is missing and how much they are missed. At this time of year reliving the loss can occur on a daily basis which is a heartbreaking reality to face. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression, causing withdrawal that negatively impacts mental and physical health. Senior living communities give aging adults the opportunity to connect with others who are facing the same challenges. Living in a community with others that understand what they are going through helps to alleviate some of the feelings of isolation and loneliness as well as provides opportunities to socialize daily through community events. The companionship and physical activity can help stave off the depression and self-isolation that often accompany dealing with loss during the holidays. Holidays Can Be Overwhelming When seniors are used to spending a lot of quiet time at home, big holiday gatherings can be very overwhelming. The noise, commotion, and face paced nature of holiday activities can bring up feelings of stress and anxiety. In addition to this, the physical demands of attending such events can lead to physical exhaustion creating an increased risk of falls and other health problems for older adults. Seniors are free to approach the holidays at a pace that is comfortable for them in a senior living community. Personal companion services assist seniors with their daily activities giving them more time and energy to enjoy holiday celebrations without becoming emotionally and physically overwhelmed. Accessible transportation also makes shopping and attending holiday activities less stressful as well. Physical Limitations Induce Stress The aging process produces many changes. Declining physical mobility and mobility-limiting health issues not only impact the daily lives of aging adults but also places limits on their usual holiday activities. They may find travel more difficult. Lots of time in the kitchen cooking and baking may be too tiring or cause pain. They may not be able to decorate the way they used to anymore. Arthritic joints can even make something as simple as wrapping a gift a chore. The holidays often bring these physical limitations into the spotlight and mourning this loss of mobility and independence can lead to stress and feelings of depression. This is another area where senior living communities can help promote independent living. With the staff at the ready to assist with daily activities and various supports in place to meet seniors’ mobility needs these physical limitations can be easily overcome. And the physical therapy and exercise programs available can even help to improve mobility and help seniors maintain their independence for as long as possible with more energy and a greater zest for life. It’s important to recognize and consider these unexpected season impacts on seniors as we make our holiday plans. Keep in mind that older adults might not be entering this holiday season with the same joy or excitement that they once did for various reasons. A senior living community could be the solution to providing the support older adults need for a healthier, more connected, and independent lifestyle that can make the holidays just a little brighter. At Ashbridge Manor Senior Living we pride ourselves on creating an environment that enables seniors to lead a fulfilling, socially active lifestyle to improve their health and maintain an independent lifestyle. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact our professional staff members and we can help make it easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special!

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