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Seniors and Seasonal Depression

Have you checked in with your senior loved ones lately? The holiday season may have been one of the few social times they had over the last year via phone calls or video calls, and now are facing heavy snowfall preventing them from journeying outside the home. This may result in feeling the winter blues, which may seem like an ordinary reaction to the end of the joyful holiday season. However, when that feeling of sadness persists for more than a week or two, it can be a sign of seasonal depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

The reduced light and warmth leaves many people feeling sad or tired, but if you notice your loved one is affected by these symptoms, they may have SAD:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day

  • Losing interest in activities they once enjoyed

  • Having low energy

  • Having problems with sleeping

  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight

If your loved one is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it is likely time to talk with their primary care physician. Physicians are able to determine if they are experiencing post-holiday blues or an experience that requires professional medical treatment.

In addition to visiting a physician, your loved one should take preventative steps to decrease the effects of SAD:

  • Avoid alcohol or limit intake to just one or two glasses a week

  • Eliminate sugary foods, sodas and sweets from your daily diet

  • Commit to 30 minutes of light daily exercise

  • Eat a healthy diet

  • Take time to speak with your loved ones

Now may also be the time to bring a caregiver into the home to implement these steps and increase your loved ones quality of life in their home. Home Care Partners offers a Companion Care service that would be beneficial to your loved one and allow them to remain independent in their home. Companion Caregivers are present as a companion to prepare meals, manage laundry, help with light housekeeping, coordinate needed household tasks, and assist in medication reminders. In addition to at home help, our caregivers will assist with shopping trips, running errands, medical appointments, and socializing activities to enhance quality of life.

To find out if this is the right step for you and your loved one review our Prepare to Care resource. This resource shares information about starting the conversation, forming the care team, making a plan, and finding support. Home Care Partners is here to help you navigate options, create safe environments, and coordinate with healthcare partners to create daily peace of mind. Call us at 402-780-1211 to make a plan or click here to learn more.

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