As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, people of all ages start to feel more lethargic and perhaps even sad. Winter depression occurs because the brain and body are naturally affected by the daily cycle of light and dark. Your aging loved ones are even more susceptible to winter depression because they are not as active as they used to be, which can inhibit the brain’s ability to regulate negative emotions as seniors age. Fortunately, Park Cites live-in home care professionals can share several tips to fight off winter depression and alleviate negative feelings.
One of the major reasons that seniors are prone to winter depression is because they cannot exercise in the cold. Though cold weather may be too rough for the fragile immune systems of the elderly, shopping malls often open early so that people can walk around indoors during the winter, and the gentle walking pace is a great way for seniors to boost their endorphins and stave off depression.
During winter holidays, it is easy to indulge in sweet treats or overeat. However, rich foods can upset a senior’s digestive system and interfere with proper nutrition that feeds and regulates brain health. It is important for seniors to focus on getting enough proteins and grains to boost their energy and avoid foods that promote lethargy.
Take Vitamin Supplements
The lack of sunlight in the winter can lead to a serious vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is an important nutrient that supports bone health and naturally boosts serotonin levels in the brain. It is also crucial for elderly people to get enough vitamin D so that they do not develop osteoporosis, which could otherwise hinder them from physical activity. A daily supplement of vitamin D can be very helpful during the short daylight hours.
Get Some Light
The best way to combat winter depression is to be regularly exposed to sunshine. You may want to consider buying a light box for your senior loved one since seniors have a higher risk for skin cancer. These boxes shine light that mimics natural sunrays, but they block the harmful rays that can cause skin cancer.
Don’t let your senior loved one get the blues this winter. Call Home Care Assistance at (214) 363-3400 and speak with a trusted Care Manager about our quality in-home care in Park Cites. Our compassionate caregivers offer seniors assistance with everything from personal care and household chores to physical exercise and regular interaction on a flexible schedule in the comfort and security of home. When you call, be sure to schedule a complimentary consultation for your senior loved one.