Importance of checking in on senior citizens during the holidays

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The holidays have been branded as the “most wonderful time of the year” but as families and friends gather to celebrate, holidays could pose health risks for senior citizens.

Seniors are often neglected during the holidays and can experience feelings of depression or anxiety if they don’t have family or friends to visit.

Mental health experts at Cleveland Clinic say signs of possible problems include appearing sad or bored. Experts say isolation can also impact their mood, cognitive abilities, blood pressure, blood sugar, or cholesterol.

For senior citizens, getting attention during the holidays can be helpful, but feelings of isolation can easily return once the season passes.

“Unfortunately for some of our seniors, it is also a time of sadness because they may not be able to get with their family. their family may be located far away so for them it is bittersweet. and then after the holidays when all the shine and the happiness and joy goes away it’s back to life for many of our seniors which isn’t always a pleasant time of the rest of the year,” Executive Director Rich Zeck said.

Eastern Carolina resident Chris Linger says she and her family experienced firsthand how it feels to miss out on quality time with their loved ones. “It was well over a year, year and a half or so before we were able to see her in person and you know we just really missed that one on one with her and being together as a family even though our family is small but be together in person so it was a good thing that we had facetime and some of the other social media aspects that we have today but it still wasn’t the same as being there in person,” said Linger.

Healthcare professionals recommend reaching out to a Geriatrician to connect seniors with resources or potential treatments to treat anxiety or depression as a result of social isolation.