It’s the time of year when the cold temperatures combined with the shorter days can contribute to feelings of sadness or depression in some people. If your parent or loved one receiving their senior care at home tends to feel the Winter blues, there are some things you should know so that you can help them feel their best during this tough seasonal issue.
Senior Care in Elizabeth PA: Fight the Winter Blues
Symptoms of this, also known as seasonal affective disorder, should be watched for, and include:
- Feelings of sadness, despair, or hopelessness
- Feeling stressed, tense, anxious, or irritable
- Changes in sleep habits
- Using alcohol or drugs for comfort
- Lack of overall energy
- Weight and/or appetite changes
Talk with their doctor
The first thing you should do if your senior shows signs of feeling down this time of year is to talk with their doctor. They may want to rule out other forms of depression and will have ideas for ways to deal with the disorder and how to incorporate them into their senior care routine.
Try a lightbox
A light therapy box, which mimics outdoor light, may be an option for your senior who might not have the ability to get much natural sunlight this time of year. Research has shown that this type of light can cause chemical changes in the brain which can lift the mood and ease other symptoms that people with seasonal affective disorder experience. Talk with your senior’s doctor before purchasing a lightbox to see if they have any specific recommendations or ways that they think your senior should make use of it.
Soak in the sun
If your senior does not have any mobility issues and the weather permits, try taking short walks outside in the late morning or early afternoon on bright and sunny days. Open the shades, blinds, or curtains of their home to allow as much natural sunlight to enter their room as possible.
Getting regular exercise can boost your mood, help with sleep, and is a great way to combat the effects of seasonal affective disorder. Rhythmic exercise such as walking, swimming, martial arts, and dancing- where you move both your arms and your legs- has shown to offer the most benefits for depression. Encourage your senior to get regular movement every day to help fight against the symptoms of the Winter Blues.
If your senior is showing signs that they are struggling this time of the year, it is important to listen to them and understand that they have real feelings that are difficult to control. If they need to talk to someone, set up an appointment with a counselor or therapist, and let them know that their feelings are valid and that they are going to get the help that they need.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Senior Care in Elizabeth, PA, talk to the caring staff at Superior Home Care today. Call us at 412.754.2600