Seasonal Affective Disorder in the elderly

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15 min read

SAD is an acronym for Seasonal Affective Disorder and like many young people it is a little more difficult for elderly. As you may know, SAD is a common mood disorder that might be characterized by things like feeling less energetic, having sleep problems or sleeping too much, difficulty in concentrating, social withdrawal, feeling low and gloomy for longer periods than usual. 

The Elderly and Seasonal Depression

Depression is a common problem among older adults, but it is NOT a normal part of aging. In fact, studies show that most older adults feel satisfied with their lives, despite having more illnesses or physical problems. However, important life changes that happen as we get older may cause feelings of uneasiness, stress, and sadness. For instance, the death of a loved one, moving from work into retirement, or dealing with a serious illness can leave people feeling sad or anxious. After a period of adjustment, many older adults can regain their emotional balance, but others do not and may develop depression.

Winters are a difficult period for the elderly, in the winter months, they are at higher risk of health problems and injuries related to the weather, like hypothermia, frostbite and also mental health issues. The risk of falling sick is higher and so is the feeling of loneliness. Yes, It gets colder as you get older. Seasonal depression is very prevalent in older people and they need help.

Tips on taking care of the elderly

Your neighborhood will have clubs and homes where you can volunteer or if your grandparents are staying away from you, take some time for them and visit them. Sometimes we are so engrossed in our own lives that we forget to check upon them. 

Observe

Check for things that are unusual in their behavior, make sure they get all their medical check-ups done regularly.

Spending time

If you see your neighbor has stopped getting out or you haven’t seen them in a while, go to their house, call them to parties, do fun activities with them.

Food

Make sure they are eating healthy food, this will better their immune system and make the winters a little easier.

Spread Awareness

Make people understand that it’s okay to ask for help and identify when someone wants help. Tell them about Wysa and the free tools that are offered.

Be kind

In a world where you can be anything, be kind and gentle with them 🙂

At the end of the day, you might want to stay in bed, lie down in the darkness, and not switch on the light. It’s okay.
It’s okay to feel this way but remember –

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Albus Dumbledore

It takes a lot of courage and strength to get this SADness out of your system, tell someone how you are feeling and be accepted for it. It’s okay to vent it out, show your emotions and get vulnerable. We are with you on this journey to better mental health. You can always talk to Wysa and all the experts available on the app. Let’s heal together and spread the warmth. After all, it’s cold out there.

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