According to the Mayo Clinic Staff, if the Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) symptoms in the seniors that you care for are not very severe, there are a few things that you can do to help prevent them from showing their dreary head, such as:
- Make the environment sunnier and brighter. Open blinds, trim tree branches that block sunlight or add skylights to the client’s home. Sit closer to bright windows with them while at home or in the office.
- Get outside if you can. Take a walk, eat lunch at a nearby park, or simply sit on a bench and soak up the sun. Even on cold or cloudy days, outdoor light can help — especially if you are with the client and are able to spend some time outside within two hours of them getting up in the morning.
- Exercise regularly if at all physically possible. Physical exercise helps relieve stress and anxiety, both of which can increase seasonal affective disorder symptoms. Being more fit can make them feel better about themselves, too, which can lift their mood. (And exercise never hurts me either!)
Some of these suggestions are easier than others considering the age and health of the individuals outside of SAD. If they are willing and able, these are great ways to keep the depressive feelings at bay.
Remember, the more you can do proactively, the more you are displaying that you realize that With Age Comes Respect.