Something New Can Help Beat the Winter Blues

January 28, 2015 8:03 PM

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Sitting alone on his couch in the early days of 2015, Robert*, a 72-year-old New York City resident, found himself overcome by feelings of isolation and depression. The holidays had been full of family, friends and regular visitors to his home. Normally he would spend this period after the holidays going out to cultural events, visiting the local community center or socializing further with friends. Because of his recent leg surgery and a worsening chronic condition, however, he was no longer able to leave the house. Now, in the cold weeks of January, Robert felt that the interesting parts of his life might be over, at least for the moment, and maybe for a long time. These hard-to-handle thoughts brought on strong feelings of depression and loneliness, as they are prone to do in many elderly individuals and their caregivers. In Robert's view, all the things he loved doing were now out of reach -- or so he thought.

Robert's situation is not uncommon among older individuals during in the months that follow the holidays. While the season's celebrations bring enjoyment to many, they can also be stressful if someone is dealing with physical or financial limitations. For those who have lost loved ones, memories of ...

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