SEATTLE, Oct. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 younger demographic, the problem can be exacerbated for those worrying about how the circumstances and processes of aging may change the coming holiday season. Emeritus Senior Living's "BluesBusters" teams will be out in force in October to help local seniors not only survive, but thrive, during coming weeks.
Depression affects 15% of Americans over age 65, according to the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation; this figure is five 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 Budgie Amparo, Executive Vice President of Quality Services for Emeritus Senior Living. "Increased hours of darkness can lower their spirits. On top of that, 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, groups of professionals from Emeritus Senior Living's communities, known as "BluesBusters," will be visiting seniors in their homes for free through Nov. 22 to conduct an emotional wellness check, provide tools and resources, and connect them to 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 Amparo, noting that numerous studies have shown engagement with other people improves health mentally and physically.
As part of the BluesBusters initiative, seniors will be invited to take part in six free activities and events at their local Emeritus Senior Living community, such as exercise and art classes, concerts, parties and dining opportunities.
The BluesBusters effort comes under the auspices of Emeritus' complimentary Home Visits program, in which its community professionals periodically visit area seniors in their homes to provide companionship and support. This outreach reflects the Emeritus central operating philosophy of "Safely Somewhere."
"Through this philosophy, we strive to do all we can to ensure that seniors are living in safe, meaningful environments, whether they reside at Emeritus, in their long-time homes, or somewhere else," said Amparo. In the past year, Emeritus Senior Living's more than 500 communities nationwide have conducted over 70,000 free Home Visits.
If you would like to recommend a senior for a visit by the BluesBusters team, locate your nearest community at www.emeritus.com.
About Emeritus Senior Living
Emeritus Senior Living is the largest assisted living and memory care provider in the United States, with the ability to serve nearly 54,000 residents. More than 31,000 employees support approximately 510 communities throughout 45 states coast to coast. Emeritus offers the spectrum of senior residential choices, care options, and life enrichment programs that fulfill individual needs and promote purposeful living during the aging process. Senior living service offerings include independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, home health care, and rehabilitation services. Emeritus experts provide insights on senior living, care, wellness, brain health, and family topics at www.emeritus.com, which also offers details on the organization's family-focused philosophy and services. Emeritus' common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ESC.
CONTACT: Audrey Knoth / Scott McCaskey, (757) 625-2518
SOURCE Emeritus Senior Living