The holidays are here, and celebration is in the air. For many Brooklyn New York seniors, however, the holiday season is a time of anxiety, discontent, and sadness. They see few reasons to smile. Perhaps, they’ve lost special friends from childhood days. They may even be experiencing significant life changes. Whatever the reason, persistent feelings of melancholy threaten the well-being of many seniors across New York City every year. According to the CDC, older adults are at greater risk for depressive disorders. Specifically, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects seniors during the shortest days of the year. In this article, we discuss 4 actionable ways to help Brooklyn seniors overcome seasonal depression.
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Is SAD a real form of depression? The answer is yes. According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD symptoms are real, ranging from moderate to severe. They generally fade during the spring and summer months, however. Seniors who have seasonal depression may experience constant fatigue, appetite changes, or feelings of worthlessness. More severe cases involve thoughts of suicide.
Tips to Help Seniors Overcome Seasonal Depression
1. Buy A Full-Spectrum Light
SAD is typically precipitated by the shorter hours of natural sunlight during winter. In many parts of the world, the sun sets in the early hours of the afternoon. Light therapy, however, can be an effective solution. Full-spectrum light can mimic natural light and help reset your loved one’s circadian rhythm.
2. Add Vitamin D3 To Your Loved One’s Diet
People who live in areas with less sun exposure are often deficient in Vitamin D3. So, encourage your loved one to get tested for Vitamin D deficiency. Many physicians recommend 2000 IU a day for optimal health. Our best advice is to consult a doctor before adding this powerful supplement to your loved one’s diet. All in all, it takes about 4 weeks of supplementing to see tangible changes in well-being.
3. Participate In Fun Activities Together
Seniors often struggle with the loss of good friends and loved ones during their twilight years. Seasonal depression is particularly exacerbated by bereavement. So, make it a point to spend time with your loved one during the holidays. Cook festive meals, play board games, attend plays, or watch funny movies together. Engage your loved one in meaningful ways. Studies show that active seniors experience fewer symptoms of depression.
Physical exercise can also help. If your senior is able to walk, dance, swim or participate in other forms of mild exercise, they will feel better.
4. When All Else Fails, Ask The Doctor For More Options
If you are concerned that your loved one is showing little improvement, offer to accompany them to the doctor’s office. An experienced physician may either prescribe anti-depressant medication or recommend short-term psychotherapy treatment.
David York Agency Understands The Importance Of Helping Seniors Overcome Seasonal Depression
For more about how the right solutions can make a difference for seniors, be sure to explore David York Agency’s blog.
If you need more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.
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