The holiday season is supposed to be a nurturing time for family members to reconnect and celebrate. But for many seniors, the holidays can bring feelings of sadness, loneliness and isolation.
“It’s not unusual for seniors to hide their feelings of isolation and sadness from family members during the holidays because they don’t want to worry the family by displaying these feeling or try to deny them,” said Richard Ueberfluss, a physical therapist and president of Assisting Hands Chicago, with home care agencies in Hinsdale and Naperville.
Ueberfluss notes that there are many factors that contribute to those feelings of sadness, including those that have been widowed, have lost close friends as they age, are separated from family and may be suffering from ill health. They may feel guilty for have feelings of sadness which may in turn intensify those feelings of sadness.
The season also puts pressure on adult children who want to spend time with their family but feel guilty and torn about not spending enough time with their senior parents.
“A practical solution is to use home care aides who can spend time visiting and caring with senior parents. The companionship will stave off depression and if depression is apparent, work with family members on proper remedies,” said Ueberfluss. “Nobody should be alone during the holidays and home care aides can fill the void.”