The winter months bring more than cold temperatures; they often usher in a wave of the winter blues. Many seniors experience varying degrees of depression due to lack of sunshine and limited activities throughout the winter season. Seniors are at a higher risk for depression due to a combination of factors, which include lack of mobility and minimal contact with other people. Fortunately, our team of caregivers at Visiting Angels have some tips to help prevent the winter blues.
If a loved one seems a little down this winter, it’s a good idea to make an extra effort to spend some additional time with him or her. As caregivers, it’s easy to underestimate the power of communication and connection with those around us. Sometimes a simple afternoon spent with the person you’re caring for listening to music, playing cards or looking at photo albums can drastically improve their mental well-being.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a serious condition that may require professional care. SAD is caused by lack of exposure to sunlight during the winter months. If you are concerned an elderly friend or relative is experiencing extreme SAD or is depressed, it’s important that you take them to a doctor. Home remedies can only go so far when it comes to strong cases of winter depression.
Daily diet plays an important role in those experiencing the winter blues. According to a study undertaken by a team from the College of Education at the University of Georgia, a vitamin D deficiency may affect mental health. Choosing a healthy, vitamin-rich diet is one the ways to help your loved one beat the winter blues. Foods such as salmon, eggs, fortified breakfast cereal, and even mushrooms are ideal for helping boost your loved one’s vitamin D levels. The elderly care providers from Visiting Angels can help your loved one shop for and prepare meals that are rich in vitamin D.
As we begin to experience the effects of winter, it’s important to assist seniors who struggle with winter depression. If you are concerned about a loved one’s mental or physical health, we encourage you to make an appointment with their doctor. If you or your loved one needs the help of an elderly care provider, please call your local Visiting Angels office. Our caring and friendly elderly care providers can help you navigate the challenges of getting through another cold winter.