If you notice that your elderly family member has been feeling sad and experiencing mood swings lately, they might have the winter blues. This condition is also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and occurs when the seasons change. The staff at Home Helpers Westminster, a home health care center in Westminster, CO, notice that many of their elderly patients experience SAD in the late fall or early winter. Luckily, there are several ways your loved one can feel happier this season. Here are some tips on how seniors can beat the winter blues.
3 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues
1. Consider Light Therapy
Many people feel down during the wintertime because there is less sunlight. One way to combat this issue is to purchase a light box for your senior family member. This device mimics outdoor light and has been proven effective in improving SAD symptoms. Have your loved one use this box for 20 to 30 minutes a day to experience the best results.
2. Encourage Exercise
It’s amazing what a little exercise can do for the mind. If your elderly loved one stays active during the winter, it can release endorphins and improve their mood. If the temperatures aren’t too cold, encourage your family member to go for a nice walk in the neighborhood. If your relative has limited mobility, have them perform chair exercises, like overhead arm raises and knee lifts.
3. Improve Your Family Member’s Diet
What your senior family member eats can have a major impact on winter blues. Protein-filled foods, for example, can increase energy levels and combat fatigue. Other foods to add to your loved one’s diet include fatty fish, berries, dark chocolate, eggs, and milk. If a home health care worker comes to your relative’s home, make sure the worker is aware of your family member’s diet.
Making these lifestyle changes can help your family member battle the blues this winter season. If your relative needs extra help around the house, contact Home Helpers Westminster at (303) 412-5534. They provide various home health care services, like feeding, dressing, bathing and using the bathroom. The home helpers are compassionate and will tend to all of your loved one’s needs. For more information, visit their website.