Seniors and Seasonal Affective Disorder
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, or any Northern state for that matter, you may be familiar with the term Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD can affect the best of us, causing the onset of depression in those cold and dark months throughout the year. Beginning in late fall and continuing on through the winter season, SAD affects our mental health leaving us lacking the energy and motivation to get through daily life.
While SAD affects people of all ages, the symptoms of depression are take a toll on seniors. Caregivers of the elderly may notice an abrupt change in mood in their loved ones, which can lead to a decrease in health. Often caused by darks days and a lack of vitamin D, seniors suffering from SAD may feel the effects of depression including sadness, lethargy, sleep disturbances, and even a fixation with death. It’s important to acknowledge the signs of depression in its early stages in order to properly care for seniors experiencing SAD.
Signs of SAD
Seniors living in Seattle and other parts of the Pacific Northwest are more prone to the effects of seasonal affective disorder. Though it’s often easy to notice the signs of depression, they are not always apparent. If you are concerned about a loved one’s mental health, here are some indications of the onset of SAD:
- Increased anxiety
- Problems with memory
- Lack of personal care
- Loss of appetite
- Feelings of helplessness
SAD in seniors can often affect every aspect of their lives, and many aren’t able to recognize their symptoms. This is why it’s important to address these symptoms and give seniors the help they need.
Dealing With Depression
If your loved one is suffering from the effects of SAD, there are a variety of ways you can help them cope through the winter months to avoid further symptoms or problems that may arise as a result of seasonal depression. Often times, seniors with SAD feel lonely and helpless, and finding a caregiver for your elders may be one solution. Caregivers can provide the help seniors need in accomplishing daily tasks and obtaining a sense of fulfillment in their lives. Additionally, assisted living facilities provide a place for the elderly to connect with others, maintain physical activity, and participate in the things they enjoy. Senior housing offers companionship that can be critical in reducing signs of depression, where providers make regular visits, plan activities, and provide necessary services to seniors.
Let Us Help
If you’re seeking assisted living in Seattle, contact us today for free help and resources to find the right place for your loved ones. As your elder care advisors, we offer extensive research for elderly housing options and personal referral services at no cost!
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