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How Seniors Can Manage Stress During the Holidays

By Cherie Coe, 9:00 am on

At Home Care Assistance Jefferson County, we understand firsthand that the holidays can be stressful for seniors who may be struggling with difficult life events such as the loss of a loved one or a newly diagnosed health condition. Yet, they may not express their stress out of concern that they might disrupt everyone else’s joy. Fortunately, there are several simple ways to help seniors handle holiday stress while also improving their overall wellbeing.

1. Stick to a Budget

After retirement, many seniors live on a fixed budget that can make participating in holiday events difficult. Try to limit holiday expenses by making gifts by hand or choosing to host a potluck instead of planning a holiday dinner at an expensive restaurant.

2. Encourage Exercise

Physical activity releases endorphins that can help reduce stress hormones. During the holidays, seniors should still try to fit in their workouts. Mall walking, workout videos, and senior exercise classes are all great ways to burn off stress, even when the weather outside is too cold for a walk.

3. Stay on Schedule

The holidays are a flurry of activity that can cause a senior to lose track of his or her routine. Yet, staying on schedule can decrease stress. Make sure that seniors eat their regular meals on time and always take their medication according to the prescribed schedule.

4. Provide Social Opportunities

When their families are busy with holiday preparations, seniors can get lonely. Daily socialization is an important stress-reliever that can easily be met by arranging for a family member or Jefferson County caregiver to stop by each day. Whether he or she attends a community event or chats over tea, sharing conversation can take a senior’s mind off of stress.

5. Make Realistic Plans

Trying to hit every holiday soiree or gift shopping for six hours can easily become too much. As you make your holiday plans, think realistically about how much extra activity a senior can tolerate. Then, create a list of the activities that you can begin to organize according to what is most important. This way, a senior can save his or her energy for can’t-miss events.

If your aging loved one could use help with holiday errands, meal preparation, or could simply benefit from additional companionship during and after the season, reach out to Home Care Assistance at (303) 987-5992 . We offer hourly and live-in care, as well as stroke, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care in Jefferson County, ensuring seniors have the support needed to maintain a high quality of living in the comfort of home. Call today. We are here to help.