SUNNYSIDE MANOR IN WALL TOWNSHIP PROVIDES 7 TIPS FOR SENIORS TO BEAT THE WINTER BLUES:
This time of year can be especially challenging for seniors, whose mobility may be more limited by the winter weather, and for whom cold temperatures can cause flare-ups of health conditions like arthritis. Even for those who don’t experience the extremes of Seasonal Affective Disorder, this time of year can bring feelings of restlessness, sadness, and fatigue.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to help your senior loved ones (and yourself!) go from winter blues to blue skies ahead.
Here are 7 tips for boosting their mood and beating the winter blues:
- Get Outside.
Here by the Jersey Shore, we are fortunate to have occasional mild days during the winter. Help your senior loved one make the most of these opportunities. Getting outside helps with restlessness and “closed in” feelings during the long winter. If your loved one is particularly challenged by cold weather, consider inviting them for a scenic drive in a warm car on a sunny day.
- Get Moving.
Exercise is important for seniors, especially during the winter. When it’s too cold for a walk outside, look for (socially distanced) indoor walking opportunities. Even light exercise is proven to help boost mood and energy and improve sleep. Plus, gentle exercise can help alleviate stiffness and arthritis flare-ups that are common during cold weather.
- Get Some Sun, Even Indoors.
For seniors who struggle with less daylight, a lightbox can be helpful. These lamps simulate sunlight without generating extra heat or damaging rays. Each person’s needs are different, so be sure to speak with your loved one’s physician first.
- Get A Jump On Spring Cleaning.
Get an early taste of spring with some spring cleaning. This is the perfect time of year to help your senior loved one clear the “extras” from the holidays. A little time spent finding a place for sentimental holiday items and discarding the extras can go a long way toward creating a more peaceful and uplifting atmosphere.
- Get A Taste of Summer.
Sweets and treats may seem like a good comfort during the long, cold days of winter, but sugary foods can actually make moods more erratic and sleep more difficult. Opt for sun-filled foods that naturally boost and maintain energy, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Oranges and grapefruits are in season and make a great snack or addition to any meal, plus the vitamin C is a natural immune booster during cold and flu season.
- Get A Good Night’s Sleep.
Many people naturally sleep more during the darkest days of the year. But, for many others, the lack of sunlight causes insomnia. Sleep quantity and quality is linked to vitamin D, which is produced by the body in response to sunlight. Vitamin D synthesis also decreases with age, making seniors particularly vulnerable to the sleep disturbances (and other health concerns) that result from low levels of vitamin D. Help your senior loved one keep a regular routine and moderate sugar and caffeine, especially in the second half of the day. Add foods high in vitamin D, which include fatty fish, mushrooms, and fortified items such as orange juice, milk, and cereal.
- Get Together!
Few things boost mood like time with people you love. Give your senior loved one the gift of your time and attention to brighten up the cold winter days.
Getting the Help You Need
Learn more about Sunnyside Manor’s resources for caregivers. Whether you’re looking for short-term support or a longer-term plan, we are here to help.
Call us at 844-388-6069 to speak with a senior living expert. Sunnysidemanornj.com