Seniors already have a higher risk of depression than other age groups. That means seniors also have a higher risk of developing seasonal depression. Seasonal depression is caused by shorter days, lack of sunlight, and having to be inside the house because of cold or wet weather during the fall and winter. With home care assistance services, seniors will not spend their days alone in solitude and also have help to continue to age in place.
There are some things that seniors can do to prevent seasonal depression or at least lessen the severity of the symptoms of seasonal depression:
Home Care Assistance
Home care assistance is perfect for seniors that are aging at home. Seniors can get the friendship, social connection, and companionship they need to stay happy and healthy without having to worry about going out in bad weather, slipping and falling, or driving in poor weather. With home care assistance, seniors will not spend their days alone in solitude. Having a friend to spend time with during the day can help seniors avoid depression during the darkest part of the year.
Getting As Much Natural Light As Possible
Another way that seniors can fight off seasonal depression is to get as much natural light as possible. One of the triggers of seasonal depression can be the lack of natural daylight. So seniors who are aging at home should open all their curtains and blinds during the day and let whatever sunlight there is into the house. If your senior loved one has a sunroom or a three-season porch consider putting a heater out there so that your senior loved one can still enjoy it in the fall before it gets too cold. Keeping the space warm will help seniors get natural light comfortably.
Getting Some Fresh Air Daily
Fresh air can also help fight the symptoms of depression but it’s tough to get when it’s too cold to be outside. Opening a window for a little while or asking your senior loved one to take a quick walk to the mailbox and back or just around the block can be enough fresh air to make a difference and help keep depression at bay. Sometimes going for a drive with a home care assistance provider doing the driving can also give seniors the fresh air and sunlight they need to help avoid coming down with seasonal depression.
Exercise doesn’t cure everything, but it can make seniors much more physically and mentally healthy. If there is one thing that your senior loved one can commit to doing to make their health better its’s exercise. Going for a daily walk or walking in a home gym with a view outside will help seniors get sunlight and fresh air, and it will help them sleep better too. There’s really no substitute for regular exercise when it comes to maintaining a senior’s health. If your senior parent tends to avoid exercise because they find it boring try to find an exercise that they do like, preferably one you can do together.