If your loved one feels depressed during the cold winter months, he or she may be experiencing seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Doctors are not sure what causes SAD, but do know it is common in females. Seniors with SAD have more melatonin and less serotonin in their system, making them lethargic and drowsy. Columbus home care professionals at Home Care Assistance discuss a few diet and lifestyle changes family caregivers should consider when helping 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 is essential for fighting SAD. Take your loved one on a walk on a treadmill, head to an indoor pool, or go to the gym.
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 one’s diet. Since most people with SAD test low in serotonin, make sure to include eggs, cheese, and pineapple in the diet.
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 is important to encourage and assist them in a number of physical activities. As a well-known name in respite care in Columbus, OH, Home Care Assistance provides professional caregivers who can assist seniors in a variety of exercises to help stave off SAD. Our patent Balanced Care Method offers a comprehensive lifestyle plan to boost your loved one’s mental and physical health and encourage mental stimulation to keep depression at bay. Call us today at (614) 481-8888 to learn more about this method.