Seniors Affected by Time Change
Even though setting the clocks back during winter leads to an extra hour of sleep, the added hour of darkness in the evening is harder to handle. The time change overall may negatively affect the mental health of some people, according to a study in the journal Epidemiology.
You may be familiar with the term Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD can affect the best of us, causing the onset of depression in those cold and dark months throughout the year. Beginning in fall and continuing on through the winter season, SAD affects our mental health leaving us lacking the energy and motivation to get through daily life.
While SAD affects people of all ages, the symptoms of depression take a toll on seniors. Caregivers of the elderly may notice an abrupt change in mood in their loved ones, which can lead to a decrease in health. Often caused by darks days and a lack of vitamin D, seniors suffering from SAD may feel the effects of depression including sadness, lethargy, sleep disturbances, and even a fixation with death. It’s important to acknowledge the signs of depression in its early stages in order to properly care for seniors experiencing SAD.
Signs of SAD
If you are concerned about a loved one’s mental health, here are some indications of the onset of SAD:
- Increased anxiety
- Problems with memory
- Lack of personal care
- Loss of appetite
- Feelings of helplessness
SAD in seniors can often affect every aspect of their lives, and many aren’t able to recognize their symptoms. This is why it’s important to address these symptoms and give seniors the help they need.
Dealing With Depression
Often times, seniors with SAD feel lonely and helpless, and finding a caregiver for your elders may be one solution. Assisted living communities provide a place for the elderly to connect with others, maintain physical activity, and participate in the things they enjoy. The Arbors Assisted Living offers companionship that can be critical in reducing signs of depression, where social activities are planned all day, while providing necessary help to residents.