Meridian Star

October 27, 2013

Emeritus BluesBusters seek to ease holiday depression

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     With daylight growing shorter and holiday decorations beginning to festoon the stores, it can be a sensitive time for seniors. Already more prone to depression than the young people, the problem can be exacerbated for those worrying about how the circumstances and processes of aging may change the coming holiday season. Emeritus at Silverleaf Manor “BluesBusters” will be out in force in October to help local seniors not only survive the holidays, but thrive.

    Depression affects 15 percent of Americans over age 65, according to the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation; this figure is 5 percentage points higher than the incidence in the overall population.  

    “From experience, we know that for seniors, this time of year can be a trigger,” said Dee Dee Crane Executive Director of Emeritus at Silverleaf Manor. “Increased hours of darkness can lower their spirits. Additionally, they may be thinking about how the inability to travel will keep them from spending the holidays with family. For those who have lost spouses or others dear to them, they might be worrying about getting through seasonal festivities without their loved ones at their side.”

    To combat the problem, the “BluesBusters,” a group of professionals from Emeritus at Silverleaf Manor, will be visiting area seniors in their homes this month to conduct a complimentary emotional wellness check, providing tools and resources to engage them in activities known to fight depression.

    “These include exercise, which is a natural mood elevator; activities that give a mental and physical lift; and socializing,” said Crane, noting that numerous studies have shown engagement with other people improves health mentally and physically.

    As part of the BluesBusters’ initiative, the seniors will be invited to take part in six free activities and events at Emeritus at Silverleaf Manor, such as exercise, concerts, parties and dining opportunities.

    The BluesBusters effort is part of Emeritus at Silverleaf Manor’s complimentary Home Visits program, in which the community’s professionals periodically visit area seniors in their homes to provide companionship and support. This outreach reflects the central operating philosophy of ‘Safely Somewhere’ of Emeritus Senior Living, parent organization of Emeritus at Silverleaf Manor.

    “Through this philosophy, we strive to do all we can to ensure that seniors are living in safe, meaningful environments, whether they reside at our community, in their long-time homes, or somewhere else,” said Crane. In the past year,  Emeritus Senior Living communities nationwide have conducted more than 70,000 free Home Visits.

    If you would like to recommend an area senior for a visit by the BluesBusters, contact Emeritus at Silverleaf Manor at 601-483-4566 or