The holidays can be an intense time emotionally. Those with family nearby and lots going on may be on cloud nine, while others may experience loneliness and depression this time of year. If you sense that your loved one or client is in the second category, take steps to drive away the sadness and usher in holiday cheer.

Melanie visits her mother regularly, but with a full-time job and a house full of kids, she can’t be there 24/7. She noticed her mom was getting a bit depressed as the holidays drew near, so she cooked up a scheme. She announced to her family that she was planning a holiday party at her house, but needed Mom to organize it, since she didn’t have enough time to do it alone. She bought Mom a notebook and helped her mother assign a page to each party planning task. Each time Melanie visited, she reported on what she had done so far and came away with a new list of tasks to accomplish. Melanie’s mom loved having something to do, and was so proud of her accomplishment when the party turned out to be a great success.

When George noticed that his dad seemed listless last December, he wrote up a list of all of Dad’s friends. Armed with a calendar, he called each one and asked them when they could stop by and visit Dad. Dad’s calendar was so full that he complained about not having any time to himself, but his smile told a very different story.

Decorating the house is fun while you’re doing it and makes the home cheerful as long as the decorations are up. Ellie invited her kids and nieces and nephews to her dad’s house for an evening of tree and home decorating. Dad sat in his armchair and gave instructions while the kids worked, and Ellie served up hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies to keep everyone’s spirits up. At the end of the evening, they took a family picture and posted it on Facebook with the caption, “Grandpa’s Best Christmas.”

Sadness in December can be temporary and transient, but what if it lasts longer? When elderly people are sad, it might be a sign of depression and require medical treatment. What looks like depression can also be a symptom of dementia, so if the sadness continues for a while and isn’t chased away by fun and family, it’s time to visit the doctor and get a diagnosis.

Towne Home Care wishes its clients and employees a Happy Holiday Season and a year of blessings and good health!