December is a busy, joyous time, filled with friends, family, music, gifts, twinkling lights, Christmas trees, menorahs—general hustle and bustle. Not everyone is immersed in the happy chaos, though.
Elderly nursing home residents may have no family and no friends left alive. The holidays can revive memories of what once was and stoke feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression. According to the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation (GMHF), during the holiday season, the elderly may feel more acutely the passage of time; the absence of parents, siblings, and friends who have died; and the distance of loved ones who have moved away. When traditional celebrations and rituals no longer occur, the holidays may seem empty.
The GMHF cites the following factors that may contribute to depression in the elderly during the holidays:
- financial limitations;
- loss of independence;
- being alone or separated from loved ones during the holidays;
- failing eyesight, which makes reading and writing holiday cards difficult; and
- loss of mobility, which may prevent attendance at religious services.
Deliver Some Cheer
If you would like to feel you’ve really made a difference in someone’s life this holiday season, visit a nursing home.
- Just visit! Take a couple of friends along and sing holiday songs with the residents.
- Take in some homemade cookies to share (speak to the administrator first).
- With your kids or with friends, make some holiday cards for the residents.
- Use your imagination!
If you suspect that someone you care about in a Kentucky nursing home is being abused or neglected, contact Gray and White Law. Set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation with one of our Louisville nursing home abuse attorneys by calling 502-210-8942 or toll free at 888-450-4456.