The “winter blues”. “Cabin Fever”. Seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder is known by many names. But every year more than half a million people including seniors suffer from it and that number is going up every year. Seniors who live in climates where there is severe cold and lots of snow in the winter combined with the lack of natural light as the days get shorter can find themselves getting irritable, depressed, hopeless, and lethargic during the winter months. Some things that seniors can do to help manage the symptoms of seasonal depression include:
Get More Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a critical component for health and there may be a link between Vitamin D deficiency and depression. Have your senior loved one talk to their doctor or talk to the doctor yourself to find out if Vitamin D is a factor in your senior loved one’s depression. The doctor will probably test your senior loved one’s blood and may prescribe a Vitamin D supplement or a Vitamin D injection to help alleviate some of the symptoms of seasonal depression.
Get A Sun Lamp
A sun lamp that mimics natural sunlight is a great thing to get for your senior loved one. Having a natural sun light lamp gives seniors the natural light they need to stay healthy. A sun lamp can also help your senior loved one if they struggle with insomnia because a sun lamp can help reset the body’s circadian rhythm and help seniors develop a natural healthy sleep pattern. If your senior loved one has an elder care provider make sure the elder care provider is turning on the sun lamp to increase the amount of sunlight that your loved one is getting.
Let In More Natural Light
Natural light is also good for helping seniors manage depression. Your senior loved one can make the most of the natural light available in the winter by spending some time sitting in the sunporch if their home has one. Opening up curtains and shades during the day to flood the house with light is also strongly recommended. If the house gets cold because the curtains or blinds are open you can keep out the cold by using plastic sheeting and weatherstripping to insult the windows.
Movement is a natural way to help manage the symptoms of depression. It’s easy for senior to spend the winter sitting in a chair or on the couch watching TV instead of moving because it’s too cold to go outside. But seniors can move inside. Encourage your senior to start exercising with a DVD or an On Demand workout. Or have an elder care provider throw an impromptu dance party during the day. Seniors can even walk in their home to increase their activity. It doesn’t really matter what the activity is. As long as it gets their heart rate up and their body moving it will alleviate the symptoms of seasonal depression.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Henderson, NV please contact the caring staff at Essential Care today at (833) 630-3703.