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December 1, 2023

Embracing the Holiday Season: Finding Joy and Connection Amidst the Blues with Vitalia Westlake

Category: Assisted Living

Author: Jessica Cook, Director of Wellness

For many, the holiday season is a joyful, happy time built around togetherness, family, and friends. Still, for some, it can be very stressful and filled with overwhelming expectations, depression, and anxiety. The holiday season can be a reminder of those who are not with us anymore, financial limitations, sadness from being separated from loved ones, and the loss of treasured traditions.

At Vitalia Westlake, we understand celebrating this time of year doesn’t have to be sad or overwhelming. It can be a peaceful time of reminiscing, volunteering, spending time with friends, and creating new traditions!

Some common causes of depression during the holiday season are:

  • Not being with family.
  • An inability to celebrate and carry on holiday traditions as they used to.
  • Being in an unfamiliar environment.
  • Might have recently lost a loved one.
  • Alone during the holidays.

The signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress we should monitor for during the holiday season include being withdrawn, not participating in events, losing interest in things and hobbies they like, crying or weeping, and pacing.

To help residents eliminate the holiday blues, we included them in the holiday cheer and festivities, do events they enjoy, incorporate their holiday traditions and cultural beliefs, invite family and friends to join fun holiday events, meals, and programs, and cook dishes they once made during the holidays.

Loneliness is one of the most common causes of depression in older adults during the holiday season. To help combat that, we involve residents with one another and help support each other through group events and programs. Residents are asked to teach others about their traditions and cultural practices during the holiday season.

Our community encourages new and fulfilling traditions by encouraging each resident to participate and be a part of new traditions in this new chapter of their life. New traditions can be made with new friends at any point in life!

The holiday season means different things to each of us. The holidays are about family, friends, food, and tradition. For many, the smells, tastes, and decorations bring memories flooding back. We hope some of these ideas will be helpful as the holidays approach.

VITALIA® Westlake in Westlake, OH offers independent living +, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near UH St. John Medical Center and Cleveland Clinic Avon with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Meadowood Golf Course, Crocker Park, Clague Playhouse, Porter Library, Westlake Rec Center, Sibling Revelry Brewery, Bradley Woods Reservation, Huntington Reservation, and White Oaks Restaurant.

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