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Winter has the potential to worsen depression or feelings of being down in the elderly. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the signs of seasonal depression, understand the reasons behind wintertime gloom, and explore strategies for supporting this.
Numerous elements of winter can impact the mental well-being of your senior family members. Reduced sunlight and shorter days may disrupt the body's internal clock, leading to alterations in mood and energy levels. This disruption is particularly prevalent among seniors and retirees who may already be grappling with additional challenges like health issues or perhaps isolation. Severe cases of seasonal depression can be diagnosed as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
SAD is a form of depression that manifests during specific seasons, typically in winter. Healthcare professionals attribute this disorder to a chemical shift in the brain triggered by diminished sunlight and shorter daylight hours in winter. It's crucial to distinguish SAD from general mood fluctuations or other depression types. SAD follows a recurring seasonal pattern lasting around four to five months.
Should these symptoms persist in your elderly loved one, seeking advice from a healthcare professional is imperative. Common SAD treatments involve heightened sunlight exposure through outdoor activities or staying close to a window, light therapy mimicking natural sunlight, vitamin D supplementation, psychotherapy to address distorted views, and medical intervention such as antidepressants.
The National Institute of Mental Health stresses the distinction between SAD and the "holiday blues," which are typically transient feelings of sadness or anxiety induced by holiday-related stress.
Regardless of a SAD diagnosis, you and the caregiving team can significantly contribute to helping seniors cope with winter blues.
Here at Rangeford Villages, we create beautiful, aspirational places for residents over 60 to enjoy later life, in safe, secure and homely surroundings. We welcome communities of people who want to enjoy life to the full and guarantee that your friends and family will love to visit. Each retirement village is unique, with its own character and core amenities, creating relaxing, yet vibrant environments where new friendships are made, and everyone is welcomed. You can find out about each one here.
We know that considering a move to a retirement village is a very personal choice that has to feel right for you. Our village sales advisors are always available at the end of the phone to discuss and talk through any questions you may have.
Rangeford Villages, the award-winning UK retirement developer, is the first integrated retirement community in the UK to introduce a 100% Home Exchange Scheme. Effective across all villages, the scheme allows prospective residents to sell their current property with ease and move into their new home promptly.
21/02/2024 Wadswick Green, Strawberry Fields, Siddington Park, Mickle Hill, Homewood Grove, General
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is in the air at Wadswick Green. It is one of the Rangeford Villages, where one couple have declared their love for one another by becoming the first ever residents to get engaged.
14/02/2024 Wadswick Green, General, Corporate
With the New Year welcoming in opportunities for resolutions and tackling new health goals, Rangeford Villages, the award-winning UK retirement developer, has set out activities and events for residents in all its villages – from Wadswick Green in Wiltshire to Siddington Park in Cirencester - to achieve their goals.