For most people, the holiday season is full of many fond memories, busy schedules, and lots of celebration. After all, It’s the most wonderful time of the year, isn’t it?

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Grief, sadness and emptiness during the holidays.For most people, the holiday season is full of many fond memories, busy schedules, and lots of celebration. After all, It’s the most wonderful time of the year, isn’t it?

 

This time of the year can be difficult for some. You may know relatives, friends or neighbors, who may feel lonely and a deep sense of sadness. As families age, holiday traditions change. Children grow up, and make their own holiday traditions. The house becomes more quiet. The table isn’t as full as it once was. Cherished loved ones may have passed away, or now live with an illness that changes the realities of the holiday.  Grief and loss are difficult any time of the year, but it is especially challenging during important milestones, and holidays.

 

While celebrating this time of year, try to find a way to reach out – give someone a call, ask them to lunch, or just drop by for a visit. Sometimes we feel uncomfortable reaching out to others, especially if they are already sad. We may think that by talking with them that we may make them feel worse, or that it isn’t our place. Know that by reaching out and offering a listening and supportive ear you will be helping. If the other person doesn’t want to talk, perhaps you could share with them about the things that have been happening in your life.

 

If you are feeling depressed or lost this season, try to take some of your skills or time and share them with others. By doing things like volunteering at your church, calling long lost friends to say hello, or helping out at a local animal shelter you will connect with others, and take your mind off of your troubles for a time.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with sadness or grief this holiday season, know that there are resources out there to help right here, in West Michigan.

 

LifeCircles PACE is here to help:

If you are part of the LifeCircles family (past or present), and are dealing with sadness over the holidays, please reach out to our social work department. They are here with a listening ear.  If you are connected to the LifeCircles PACE center in Muskegon please call 231-733-3123 and ask for a social work team member. If you are connected to the LifeCircles PACE center in Holland, please call 616-582-3100 and ask for a social work team member.

Other West Michigan resources:

If someone recently used Hospice services, suggest they contact their specific Hospice provider.

Allegan County Community Mental Health: http://www.accmhs.org/SitePages/Home.aspx  (269) 673-3384

Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan: http://www.aaawm.org/  616-456-5664

Health West (Muskegon County Community Mental Health) : http://healthwest.net/  (231) 720-3200

Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan:  http://www.themhf.org/ 616-389-8601

Ottawa County Community Mental Health: https://www.miottawa.org/Health/CMH/  (877) 588-4357

Ottawa County Senior Reach: http://www.seniorreach.org/  (877) 588-4357

Senior Resources:  https://www.seniorresourceswmi.org/  (231) 739-5858

 

Our entire LifeCircle’s team of geriatric specialists wish you a warm, and comforting holiday season.