If your senior loved one feels depressed during the cold winter months, he or she may be experiencing seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Doctors aren’t sure what causes SAD, but they do know it’s common in females. Seniors with SAD have more melatonin and less serotonin in their systems, making them lethargic and drowsy. Here are a few diet and lifestyle changes family caregivers should try to help their loved ones manage SAD.
1. Get More Natural Light
Seniors with SAD may need to get as much natural light as possible. Open the curtains and blinds to let the light shine in. Doctors suggest seniors and their caregivers go outside, even for a few minutes, within two hours of getting up.
Keeping up an exercise routine in the winter can be challenging, but it’s essential for fighting SAD. Take your loved one on a walk on a treadmill, head to an indoor pool, or go to the gym.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare. You can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia.
3. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a diet high in vitamin D can often help people with SAD. Caregivers may want to include tuna, mackerel, and beef liver in their loved ones’ diets. Since most people with SAD test low for serotonin, make sure to include eggs, cheese, and pineapple in the diet.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care. Miami Assisting Hands Home Care provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
4. Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are a great way to boost mood, and many seniors find citrus essential oils to be effective. Black pepper essential oil is often effective in revitalizing the body and alleviating lethargy. Jasmine, when used as a vapor, can increase alertness.
When helping seniors with SAD, it’s important to encourage and assist them with a number of physical activities. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Miami, FL, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care. Our caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. Call Assisting Hands Home Care to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.