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  • Last modified 215 days ago (Dec. 13, 2018)

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Loneliness, depression can plague elderly

News editor

The holiday season is a time filled with joy and cheer for most people. It means being off work to spending quality time with loved ones, giving and receiving gifts, and relaxing

However, the holidays can also be an isolating and lonely time, especially for seniors living alone, in a nursing home, or in an assisted living facility.

 How can you identify if your loved one is experiencing depression and anxiety?

If they seem to be acting differently, being quieter than usual, or becoming more withdrawn, it’s time to take some action. You don’t need to do it alone — work alongside the facility’s employees.

Marion’s St. Luke Living Center director Janet Herzet said the staff work hard to make the residents feel at home away from home.

“Our residents help get ready for Christmas,” she said. “They help bake cookies, write, and send out their own Christmas cards.”

A cherished time at the holidays is enjoying time at home. Many seniors long for the comforts of their own home during the holidays, and reminisce about the traditions created there over the years.

Herzet said families are invited to come eat with the group or take their family member out somewhere.

Feelings of being blue and lethargic characterize depression.

Most often it’s the memories of earlier, perhaps happier times, that cause loneliness and despair.

Salem Home in Hillsboro gets seniors involved setting up the tree and decorating.

“We have a big party,” said administrator Peter Mangai. Residents are adopted so everyone gets something on Christmas.

Both facilities bring in caroling groups to entertain residents and staff.

When randomly asked, residents say the best thing to cheer them up is to see their loved one, spend time remembering old times, and planning for new traditions.

Last modified Dec. 13, 2018

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