Also known as SAD, seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression related to changes in seasons. It tends to begin and end at the same time every year. While most Americans with SAD experience it during the cold and gray winter months, the year-round warm weather here in Miami poses challenges for elderly care and senior home care service alike, since people may experience SAD at different times of the year. Luckily, there are ways that you can help your elderly loved ones cope with seasonal affective disorder. The experienced Miami home caregivers at Advancare are happy to give tips on how to help your loved ones deal with seasonal affective disorder, and help recognize the signs that they may be experiencing the disorder.
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What Are Ways to Cope with Seasonal Affective Disorder?
If your seniors know that they experience SAD at a certain time of the year, it is recommended that you take preventative steps to prepare for the symptoms.
Light From a Box
The first tip from our senior home care service to treat SAD is to try light that comes from a box. Bright light therapy is widely considered to be a first-line treatment option for people suffering from SAD in the winter. Light therapy boxes, also known as phototherapy boxes, are devices that give off light that mimics sunshine. Your seniors should sit in front of the box for 20 to 30 minutes per day.
Prioritize Social Activities
Loneliness can be a compounding issue for seniors with SAD, especially for seniors who live by themselves. Prioritizing social activities can help, and our caring companionship and incidental transportation services at Advancare can help seniors socialize.
As is true with other forms of depression, exercise can help to alleviate the symptoms. For seniors, this can simply mean taking a daily walk or following instructional workout videos online.
How Do You Treat Seasonal Depression?
In addition to the above ways that your senior can cope with seasonal affective disorder, it can also be treated with the following solutions:
- Medications: Some people with SAD will see benefits from antidepressant treatment, especially if their symptoms are severe. Speak to a physician for more advice.
- Psychotherapy: Also called talk therapy, psychotherapy is another effective way to treat SAD.
- Mind-body connection: Some mind-body techniques that people use to treat SAD include yoga, meditation, and music or art therapy.
Signs It’s Time to Get Help
It’s oftentimes the case that SAD symptoms begin as mild and then get more severe as the season progresses. If your senior loved one is experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should seek out help from a medical professional.
- Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
- Having low energy
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Experiencing changes in weight or appetite
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Feeling hopeless, worthless, or guilty
Miami In-Home Caregivers
Working with one of our professional caregivers at Advancare can help with some of the symptoms of SAD in seniors. Contact us at 305-441-9794 for a consultation.