During winter months, most people have a tendency to remain indoors. They keep their windows closed, their doors sealed, and spend a lot of time looking out at the gray landscape around them. It can become depressing, especially for an elderly individual who lives alone.
Depression is a very serious situation for anyone, regardless of age. Another issue that comes into play during the winter months is something called Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is more commonly known by the acronym SAD.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that cycles around with the change of season. It can happen any time during the year, but it affects more people during winter.
Another issue with regard to depression that is common during winter is that the daylight hours become less and less until December 21 when they begin to lengthen once again. Sunlight is responsible for many benefits within the human body, especially the ability to help vitamin E production which can have numerous effects on mental and emotional health.
As an elderly care provider, just making sure that the patient is safe and secure within the comfort of their own home is only one part of your responsibility. You also need to look out for their best interest throughout the year.
Look for signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder within the elderly patient. You may not notice anything right away, but as autumn turns into winter and the holiday season comes to an end, you may notice the patient being less engaged in various activities or less willing to take part in other activities.
If you notice the patient withdrawing from certain things they normally enjoy, sit down and talk to them about their reasons. It may have to do with the physical ailments, being in significant pain, or other reasons, but it also may have to do with depression.
If they feel depressed and isolated because of winter, find out what things they may enjoy and look into encouraging them to get out and do them. They might have an interest in visiting museums, art galleries, or other places that are warm and safe indoors.
If you are struggling to find out how to help the patient best, encourage him or her to speak to their doctor and find out if there is some other remedy that can help get them through the long, cold winter ahead.
For all of your elderly care needs in Woolwich Township, NJ and the surrounding areas call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 321-1500.