Page 4 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - December 2017 - 24-12
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Page 4 Senior Times - December 2017
By: Helen Guzzo, MSW, Manager, Calhoun County Senior Services
This is the season of parties and sharing, but for some it can also be a time of sadness and isolation. This can lead to depression,
a very serious response that affects more seniors than previously thought. Although de- pression can be difficult to diagnosis in older adults, it is very treatable. The best defense against depression is a good offense.
There are many strategies that can help pre- vent or lessen the feelings of sadness that may occur during the holiday season. Remember to ask for help and get involved in helping others. Be thankful for your blessings instead of feeling stuck in your problems.
Instead of wishing that your relatives would call you, call them to see how they are doing.
According to the American Association
of Geriatric Psychiatry, about one in seven Americans aged 65 and older suffers from depression. For seniors with a chronic illness, the rate can jump to as high as one person in four. Certain medications can trigger depres- sion, as can the stress of dealing with a chron- ic illness, caregiving for others, or mourning the loss of a loved one. The festive season, with all its feel good advertising, and the added stress of planning and attending events, can actually magnify feelings of sadness or
loneliness. Depression can be triggered by grieving for friends and loved ones who have passed away, separation from family, and the effects of shorter days and less sunshine.
One major cause of depression is isolation. During the holiday season, make time to be with family and friends. If family is out of the area, invite other seniors over or participate in community meals and programs. Your local senior center hosts a number of events and ac- tivities just waiting for you to attend. During the holidays, many churches and civic groups seek volunteers. Helping others is a great way to forget about your own troubles and interact with other people. If your mobility is not limited, consider visiting other seniors who cannot get out of their homes or are in nursing care facilities.
Alcohol is a major issue during the holiday season. Alcohol dependence among post- retirement age adults is on the rise nationally. Often used to soothe a troubled mind, alcohol is a depressant and will actually intensify feel- ings of sadness. This is especially true when combined with prescription medications. It can even be life threatening.
The holidays can also wreak havoc on monthly budgets. One way to avoid feelings of regret and concern is to set a budget early in the gift season and stick to it. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t afford to buy grandchildren an expensive gift. The worry it will create afterwards isn’t worth it. Perhaps giving a gift of time with your grandchildren is a better option. Make a memory by baking cookies
or a favorite recipe, reading a book or doing
a craft together, can help create a closeness which will be remembered after a gift is for- gotten or outgrown.
An important strategy is to acknowledge how you are feeling. Signs of senior depres- sion include lack of energy, fatigue or exces-
sive sleep, withdrawal, weight loss or loss
of appetite and a general feeling of malaise with no apparent health concern. Let a family member know you are feeling sad or lonely. Talk to your doctor or a mental health profes- sional, as there are a number of medicines that can help. Depression that isn’t treated can result in more serious illness. It can also be a sign of a more serious medical condition such as Alzheimer’s disease, thyroid disorders, and other conditions.
Remember the past, but don’t dwell on it. The holidays are a great time to remember fondly friends and family who are away or who have passed. Tell funny stories about loved ones at family gatherings. Look at pictures from back in the day. Bring a few pictures to the next family gathering, and share the story behind the picture. Nostalgic memories can make you feel melancholy, but they can also lift your spirits, especially when sprinkled with humor. Share your stories with the next generation so that your family’s oral history isn’t lost.
The holidays should be a time of celebra- tion, remembrance, and joy. A few proactive strategies can bring a new perspective and opportunities to make sure your season is JOY-FULL, and bursting with new memories. The surrounding communities have excellent centers. Visit these below in Calhoun County.
• Forks Senior Center – Albion (517) 629-3842
• Heritage Commons – Marshall (269) 558-6150
• Kool Family Community Center – Battle Creek, (269) 965-0000
Helen Guzzo, MSW, is the Manager of Cal- houn County Senior Services. To learn more call at (269) 781-0846.
Thank You
Senior Times just wanted to take a moment to share a special thank you to the editorial board, advertisers, community agencies, and of course the staff that help to bring the publication to you month after month. We could not do it without each and everyone of them.
AAA Michigan
Advantage Living
Allegan Antique Market
Allen Antique Barn
Allen Antique Mall
Allen Harmon Insurance
Bachman Hebble Funeral Service Barn Theatre
Barneyville Senior Apartments
Barry County Community Foundation Barry County Antique Show
Barry County Commission on Aging BATA
Battle Creek Bombers
Battle Creek Hearing
Best Investing & Tax Services Bickford Assisted Living
Binder Park Zoo
Brent Fast- Edward Jones
Bronson at Home
Bronson Battle Creek
Brookdale Senior Living
Calhoun County Health Department
Calhoun County Medical Care Facility
Calhoun County Senior Services CareWell Services
Centra Care
Cereal City Concert Band Certified Benefit Advisors Chalgian & Tripp
Chalep Hill United Methodist
Colonial Manor Adult Foster Care
Comprehensive Medical Care PC
Cretsinger Care Homes
Darrell Bruke Construction
Diversified Financial
Dr Bruce Leonard, DDS
Dr. John Bizon
Evergreen Senior Care & Rehab
Farley Estes & Dowdle Funeral Home
FireKeepers Casino
Ganton Senior Living Communities
Grand Vista Assisted Living Habitat for Humanity Heartland Health Care Center Hodges Jewelers
Hog Creek Craft & Antique Mall HomeCare Transitions
K- Drive Greenhouse
Keystone Lake Development Lakeview Meadows
Laurels of Bedford
LifeCare Ambulance Services
Light House Funeral & Cremation Location Reality
Magnum Health & Rehab of Hastings Maple Grove Apartments
Maple Lawn Medical Facility Maplewood of Marshall
Masters Counseling & Life Coach McCamly Plaza Hotel
Medilodge of Marshall
NorthPointe Woods
Omni Community Credit Union Plumeria Botanical Boutique Quality Life Hearing Center Richard A. Henry Funeral Home Right at Home
Senior Health Partners Senior Home Support
Senior Services of Southwest Michigan
Sims Electric
Springview Tower Apartments
St. Phil Catholic Church
Stacey Lott Attorney At Law
Stone Ridge Adult Foster Care Sweetwater Dounts
The Elder Law Center
The Kool Family Community Center The Medical Clinic
The Oaks at NorthPointe Woods The Village of Mill Creek
Tomak, Podosky & Hiltink, PLLC Westbrook Place Communities Woodlawn Meadows- Leisure Living
We hope to include you as we go forward with a wonderful 2018!

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