Elder Care in Old Greenwich, CT
After the busyness of the holidays, seniors sometimes experience a let down of sorts and can get the winter blues. While it is common for nearly everyone to experience some type of "cabin fever" during the winter, seniors can be more susceptible simply because they are slowing down or have health issues that prevent them from engaging in activities they would normally engage in, due to the weather. A family caregiver should take note of behavioral changes such as a disinterest in hobbies, unusual fatigue or feelings of sadness.
There are several ways a family caregiver can help their senior loved one stay engaged in the winter to help avoid the blues.
Enjoy the Sunshine
Despite the shorter days, the sun still shines. If weather permits, seniors can be outside and soak up the sun. Even looking out a sunny window can boost a blue mood.
Exercise has been shown to improve mood, increase mental acuity and decrease susceptibility to illness. For seniors who enjoy walking outside, they may find indoor walking a positive change of pace. Many malls open early to seniors and allow them to walk. Mall walking provides a flat surface in an temperature controlled environment. As a bonus, seniors get to be with others.
Senior centers can also be a source of exercise. Many offer light stretching classes or other classes designed to help seniors stay active over the winter months.
Maintain a Social Life
After the holidays, many seniors may feel overwhelmed and want to have some down time from social activities. While temporary downtime may allow seniors to recharge, a family caregiver should be alert for a disinterest in social activities they previously enjoyed. Having lunch with a friend, going to a movie or continuing with hobbies is important to keeping the blues away.
Eat a Healthy Diet
While it is always important to eat healthy, the dark days of winter tend to make people crave carbohydrates in the form of sweets. Sweets can provide a short term boost in mood, but in the long term only add weight. Soups and stews made with lean meats and vegetables provide a good source of protein while providing complex carbohydrates that keep seniors feeling full.
Practice Good Hygiene
Winter is cold and flu season. Taking a cue from health professionals by washing hands frequently for 20-25 seconds is a good start. Wiping down doorknobs, remotes and phones with antibacterial wipes also stops the spread of germs.
The Power of Positive Thinking
Winter is simply a season. By focusing on the coming of spring and the warmer weather to come can not only boost mood, but provide seniors with something to look forward to.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Old Greenwich, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Stamford, CT at 203-661-6969.