The cold winter months can be difficult for everyone. The shortened hours of daylight prevent so many of us from getting outside to receive the powerful mood-boosting effects of Vitamin D from the sun. For older adults, winter may have a more damaging effect on their physical and mental state than for most others.
What may appear to be the winter blues may, in fact, be seasonal affective disorder in seniors. A serious yet treatable form of depression, it can occur at any time of the year yet is most prevalent during the winter.
The experienced team members at Northfield understand the many factors that can impact a senior’s feelings of sadness and loneliness. Learn how seniors can continue to enjoy activities and fight off the effects of the season by calling 844.334.1490.
What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
As the temperatures drop, older people tend to stay inside more often to avoid the cold and the possibility of falls. With less interaction with others, feelings of sadness and loneliness set in, impacting their mental health. While depression is common for those living alone in their older years, seasonal affective disorder is cyclical and typically rears its ugly head during the isolating winter months.
People suffering from this winter-induced disorder may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Lack of energy
- Loss of interest in social activities
- Poor or restless sleep
- Extreme sadness
- Feeling purposeless and lonely
The difference between depression and SAD is its tendency to strike only during certain times of the year. Both can be just as debilitating and detrimental for seniors.
Seniors Can Ward Off Seasonal Affective Disorder
Like other forms of depression, SAD can be treated with a broad range of methods, including medication, talk therapy, and light therapy. While natural sunlight is the best form of Vitamin D and can have a powerful impact on a person’s mood and mental state, it is not always a viable option during the dreary days of winter.
However, as with depression and other mental health issues, other factors may help to increase an older person’s mood and ability to fend off this cyclic invader, including participating in activities with others, getting regular exercise, and eating a diet high in vitamin D.
If you or someone you love lives alone and is prone to the winter blues or SAD, reach out to the professionals at Northfield today to learn more about the independent living community.
Learn More About Northfield
At Northfield, residents enjoy the freedom and independence of living in their own homes while interacting and connecting with others. Residents are provided with all of the amenities to help them enjoy their senior years and fend off the sadness and isolation that so many feel, especially as winter sets in. The team members at Northfield have the residents’ best interest in mind as they design the residences and programs and services offered, including:
- Individual residences
- Three meals per day at a community table
- Housekeeping once per week
- Activities to keep residents engaged, active, and moving
- Laundry assistance
- Transportation services
- Housekeeping and organization services
- Maintenance services to ensure your home stays in its best condition
- Wellness programs focused on overall well-being
If you or someone you love is 65 or older and is looking for an active, healthy lifestyle, look no further than Northfield for the ideal senior living community.
Reach out to one of our residential specialists to learn more about how residents can live out this next chapter of their lives in their own home surrounded by friends and caring professionals by using the online form or calling 844.334.1490.