December is a festive time of the year for most Americans. Holiday parties are in full swing and families unite for food, presents and companionship. Unfortunately, not everyone is in a celebratory mood during the holiday season.
According to a National Alliance on Mental Illness study, of the 35 million Americans age 65 or older, about 6.5 million suffer some form of depression. This represents about 20% of the senior population.
Depression can be both a medical and physical condition and holidays can trigger depression in many seniors. It is not the actual holiday that causes depression, but the fact that holidays tend to bring memories of earlier, perhaps happier times. Some also are unable to visit with family around the holidays. This can cause situational depression.
For some individuals, relieving the sadness may be as simple as relieving loneliness through engagement in community. Keeping seniors active and involved in activities can positively impact their mental health.
At VoiceFriend, we encourage communities and care givers to reach out to seniors and ensure they are active and involved. The VoiceFriend messaging solution and solution for the cognitively and visually impaired are ways to ensure seniors are engaged in their community and has been proven to increase attendance at activities by up to 40%.
Says Deanna Lawrence, Executive Director at Brightview Senior Living, “Especially at this time of year, keeping seniors active and engaged in the community is critical to their health and wellness. VoiceFriend’s messaging solution makes a huge impact in the lives of our residents.”
Holidays are a difficult time for many seniors. Keeping them active and engaged in their community can do wonders for their mental health.
Bruce Baron is the CEO of VoiceFriend. For more information, contact VoiceFriend at 781-996-3123.