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Help Seniors Combat Seasonal Blues

Feb 3, 2015 8:00:00 AM

While Fort Worth may not experience the extreme cold and severe weather that some parts of the country endure during the winter, seniors may still suffer from seasonal depression and other winter woes. Daylight hours are shorter and days and nights are colder, so seniors may have a tendency to want to stay indoors and sleep longer. Caregivers and family members may help seniors combat the seasonal blues by taking certain steps.


Encourage Proper Nutrition

Proper nutrition and hydration can help seniors to feel good both physically and emotionally. One of the main causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder is a lack of vitamin D caused by less exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D can be found in fish, eggs, cod liver oil, and many other foods in addition to coming in supplement form. By making sure that seniors receive plenty of vitamin D and other nutrients, caregivers can help seniors to keep certain issues at bay.

Participate in Outings

Fortunately, the Fort Worth area enjoys many warm days throughout the winter that can be used to participate in outings. There are many historical sites, parks, local arts venues, museums, and sports arenas that make great day trips for seniors. Getting out of the home and enjoying some fresh air can help seniors to get some exercise and take a break from the regular daily routine. Caregivers or family members should prepare for outings in advance and include seniors when making the plans so that experiences are as smooth and positive as possible.

Promote Socialization

Visiting often and helping seniors to attend gatherings and events that promote socialization can be hugely beneficial in staving off the winter blues. Enrolling in cooking classes, joining a knitting or poetry circle, and going to exercise classes can help seniors to make friends and engage with people on a more regular basis. These types of activities can combat loneliness and isolation that are often at the root of seasonal anxieties and depression.

Preach Benefits of Early Bedtimes

Caregivers can help seniors to avoid winter sleepiness by encouraging early bedtimes. Going to bed earlier can help seniors to wake up by sunrise, extending the hours that sunlight can be enjoyed. Seniors are more likely to receive adequate rest and feel more energetic when the majority of hours awake are spent during the day. Opening windows and shutters in the morning can help seniors to receive more vitamin D from the natural sun rays and can help air the house out so that it does not feel as stuffy and closed in.

Topics: Aging, Healthy Living

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