Senior Depression During the Winter
As humans, when our normal routine is thrown off a bit, we can become a bit disoriented and even anxious. In the winter months, as the time changes and the days get shorter, some of us can feel a bit down and out. However, what happens when this depression does not lift as the month’s roll by? Do you have a senior loved one who is acting a bit gloomy and disinterested in the holiday activities? Senior depression is a real health concern for more than just the mental health of your loved one. Your senior’s health depends on a quick diagnosis of depression. Here is how to spot it and what it means for your senior.
Not Just SADness
Your senior’s mood and the changing seasons may be more than just sadness. In fact, seasonal affective disorder is real and is tough to manage. However, with a genuine diagnosis, it can be treated. What is SAD?
SAD is a form of depression that changes with the seasons. It often comes in cycles that may or may not be predictable. Although this form of senior depression can happen any time of the year, it often happens during the winter months. The seasons change, the air gets at least a bit cooler and more family gatherings occur.
The signs and symptoms are similar to that of traditional depression. These symptoms include lack of energy, disinterest in exciting hobbies or happenings, appetite changes and more. If there is anything out of the ordinary about your senior, you may suspect a decline in their mental health. There is nothing wrong with a mental health evaluation, especially with these symptoms above.
There are treatments available for senior depression and SAD. These may include antidepressant medications, lightbox therapy, natural sunlight and counseling. Some seniors are unable to leave their home due to mobilization issues or lack of interest in leaving. If this is the case, some healthcare professionals and visiting nurses can bring the therapy you need with them in order to help your loved one.
Antidepressant medications can take some time to take full effect. It is best to start this now for upcoming seasons in order to get the most benefit. However, medication is not always the best option due to drug interactions with elderly medications. You should always consult your loved one’s doctor for the best treatment plan if you suspect any form of depression.
Specialized care for your loved one can help reduce depression altogether. In-home senior care can help your senior feel normal and not left out if they are homebound. From help with chores to daily personal care, there are many different options available out there for them.
Activities and social outings are also important to keep your senior’s social skills alive. It is proven that socialization can lessen the symptoms of depression, making it easier to cope with the anxiety and sadness. Keeping your senior active with exercise is also crucial with any other form of treatment. Physical health is directly linked to your senior’s mental health.
Comfort Keepers in Santa Clarita specializes in senior care. In-home care is achievable with affordable options for the exact care your senior requires. From memory care to personal care to depression care, Comfort Keepers offers it all. If you are looking for specialized care for your senior, call Comfort Keepers today to see all that they offer. Your senior who is struggling with depression deserves a treatment plan that was created just for them. Make the holidays happy this year with Comfort Keepers.
23900 Lyons Ave
Santa Clarita, CA 91321