Tips For Managing Symptoms of Elderly Seasonal Depression
The Fall months are an amazing time to enjoy the many beauties that Autumn has to offer. Between the falling of colour changing leaves, cozying up under the starry night sky, and family trips to the pumpkin patch, it’s easy to forget about all the gloominess that also accompanies the Fall season. For many people, as the grey overcast months pour upon us, this time of the year also brings with it seasonal depression.
Seasonal depression, or clinically known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a mood disorder associated with changes in seasons. Typically, individuals affected by SAD experience, among other things, prolonged feelings of sadness, low levels of energy and motivation, as well as a lack of interest in activities that were once admired.
Seasonal depression generally begins and ends at the same time every year; either during the spring or early summer months, or more commonly, the fall months into winter. While seasonal depression is nothing to take lightly, in order to stay optimistic during these darker months, it’s important to take proactive steps to ease and manage any symptoms in your loved ones.
What You Can Do To Look After Your Loved Ones
It’s important to remember that there is a substantial difference between seasonal depression and the mere “Fall blues.” Failure to properly identify and treat SAD symptoms can result in more serious problems such as substance abuse or suicidal behaviour.
It can be easy to brush off or mistake seasonal affective disorder as simple Autumn season sadness. However, we recommend reading over and educating yourself on the disorder, regardless of the severity of symptoms in your loved ones; there are a variety of free resources that can be found with a quick Google search.
Light Boxes And Aromatherapy
There are a number of effective home care treatments for seasonal depression. A common choice is the use of light boxes, a safe and effective way to mimic a natural outdoor exposure to light. Researchers believe this type of light is able to trigger a chemical charge in the brain, and consequently uplift your mood and relieve SAD symptoms.
Alternatively, aromatherapy, such as the use of home diffusers, may also help in improving moods and relieving general stress. Diffusing essential oils can result in specific scents bringing up memories of happiness and more calming times.
Spend Time With Your Loved Ones
As obvious as this may be, the current pandemic has definitely made senior care more difficult. However, there truly is nothing like simply spending time with your loved ones. Be sure to check out our other posts for amazing Fall activities to share with your loved ones.
While those you care for may not necessarily have seasonal depression, but they can still get lonely. In-person interaction may not be the easiest thing to do right now, but fortunately enough, we live in a time of astounding technology! Tablets and video cameras are great and safe alternatives to interacting with your loved ones in person; allowing you to check-up on those you care for, whenever and wherever you may be!
These are just a few options that may alleviate symptoms of seasonal depression and Fall blues in your loved ones. We would like to state that we are not medical experts, and it is best to speak with a health care provider for a complete diagnosis.