While many are happy to celebrate and welcome the New Year, senior adults including those in memory care assisted living communities find the month of January difficult. The cold winter months can be challenging and can affect the elderly’s mood, low motivation, and other changes in behavior.
Called the “Monday of months”, January is when everything switches back to normal after days of food, fun, music, and celebration for the holiday season. Cold temperatures, cold and shorter days make it less exciting for adults to go on with their daily activities.
But the good thing is that there are plenty of ways to change and manage the symptoms of January blues. Find out how and make the most of the colder months until the sun shines again.
S.A.D. & Memory Care Assisted Living
After the holidays, it is now back to reality and seniors need to deal with wintery weather again, away from family. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is common but should not be ignored.
January blues can lead to depression, loss of interest, isolation, changes in sleeping patterns and appetite, irritability, or addiction. But just like other forms of depression, SAD is treatable.
Memory care assisted living facilities are equipped with the knowledge and experience to address this issue as SAD is common in seniors who are housebound.
Bright therapy is a non-pharmaceutical treatment commonly used to alleviate symptoms of SAD. Senior adults with SAD may be asked by their doctors to go through bright light therapy.
Increasing Vitamin D levels is another solution since exposure to sunlight is not possible during the winter months. Vitamin D supplements taken before the winter months are said to prevent the onset of SAD symptoms.
But if you believe your loved one is experiencing January blues, it is best to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Your doctor is the best person to determine if it is SAD or just Vitamin D deficiency. This will also determine the best treatment available as non-pharma options like the one mentioned above is safe for everyone, particularly, those with existing medical conditions.
Beating the January Blues
In addition to seeking medical help, there are lifestyle and home remedies that you can do to help your loved ones in memory care assisted living.
First, make their rooms sunnier and brighter. Trim branches of trees that might be blocking the windows. Or you may add skylights or brighter lights in the room.
Create a simple exercise routine to release stress and anxiety. Regular daily activities can help one feel better.
Even on cold days, encourage your loved ones to get up in the morning and spend some time outside their room. Socializing with fellow residents or simply sitting near the window can help.
Set a schedule for waking up and going to bed every day. This will reduce oversleeping or get rid of unhealthy sleeping patterns.
Above all, support them to stick to their treatment plans, educate them on the importance of taking good care of themselves, and learn how to manage the stress that can lead to depression and other unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.
Looking for great care for yourself or a family member? Click here to learn more about Oxbow Living.
Oxbow Living offers Assisted Living & Memory Care out of Nebraska and to the Surrounding Cities: Ashland, South Bend, Greenwood, Murdock, Elmwood, Ithaca, Mead