This time of year has always been one of my favorites. It’s a time when things slow down a bit, allowing more time with family and friends – time to catch up, celebrate cherished rituals, and enjoy favorite foods and one another’s company. But while this can be a wonderful time of year, it can also be challenging, particularly for older adults.
For some older people, the end of another year can be a powerful reminder of how many years have already passed. Traditions like lighting the menorah candles or decorating the Christmas tree may bring to mind family and friends who are no longer with us. For some older adults, health problems can make it difficult, or perhaps impossible, to travel to traditional get-togethers with relatives and old friends. All of these things can contribute to the “holiday blues” or, more seriously, depression.
In colder parts of the country older adults may face other challenges. Older people run higher risks of injuries while shoveling snow, for example, and are more likely to develop frostbite and hypothermia – a life-threating condition in which your body temperature drops to dangerous levels. Snow and icy weather can also put older adults at risk of falls and fractures.
The good news, however, is that there are many things older people, and their caregivers, can do to help address these problems. And you’ll find them on healthinaging.org – the source of a wealth of easy-to-read health information for seniors that’s reviewed by leading experts in elder health. These include:
- Tips for Beating the Holiday Blues and Depression in Later Life
- Winter Safety Tips for Older Adults and Tips for Protecting yourself from Falls and Fractures.
You’ll also find 10 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for Older Adults on healthinaging.org. I recommend it for adults of all ages. In fact, I’ve resolved to make a few of the ten my own this New Year.
Here’s wishing you and yours a happy season!