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5 Ways to Naturally Stave Off Seasonal Affective Disorder in the Elderly

By Rick Cohen, 9:00 am on

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a set of emotions up to 20 percent of people experience in the winter. It usually leaves people feeling depressed and drowsy all the time. People who live in colder climates are much more likely to experience SAD. If your senior loved one has SAD, here are a few natural remedies, suggested by Milwaukee elder care professionals, you can consider for him or her.

1. Engage in Favorite Activities

Many seniors with SAD lose interest in their favorite activities. Therefore, you may have to take some time to plan your loved one’s favorite things to do. Give him or her a little extra push to stay engaged with things he or she normally enjoys doing.

2. Make Dietary Changes

Normally, people get most of the vitamin D they need from the sun. Shorter winter days make it harder to obtain vitamin D. Consider incorporating foods high in vitamin D into your aging loved one’s diet.

3. Use Color Therapy

Surrounding a senior who has SAD with bright colors can help alleviate depression. Psychologists suggest orange and red colors to be particularly helpful. You or your loved one can wear these colors on a regular basis during the winter months. If there is a dark room in your loved one’s home, consider painting it a bright color. Use throw pillows and other accessories to brighten up dark corners.

4. Spend Time Outdoors

Researchers suggest individuals who go outside within two hours of getting up experience fewer symptoms of SAD. Encourage your senior loved one to grab his or her favorite warm beverage and head out the door. Alternatively, he or she can bundle up tight and go for a brisk walk. On warmer winter days, consider having a picnic lunch on the patio.

5. Exercise

When the weather keeps people indoors, most of them do not exercise regularly, and their “feel-good” hormones remain inactive as a result. Put on some dance music and have a private dance party with your loved one. Grab an exercise DVD and turn the living room into a gym. Encourage your loved one to spend some time on the treadmill.

If your senior loved one needs assistance with daily activities, reach out to Home Care Assistance at (414) 964-8000 and hire a professional hourly or live-in Milwaukee caregiver. Our experienced caregivers can encourage and assist your loved one with appropriate physical activities to help relieve SAD symptoms. Get in touch with one of our friendly Care Managers today to learn more about our high-quality elderly care services.

5 Natural Ways to Ease Seasonal Affective Disorder