Winter is usually a fun season for everybody, as it is filled with plenty of holidays that allow you to have more time with friends and family members and enjoy the days without worrying about the stresses of work or school. However, while winter is truly enjoyable, there are certain days in the season where it would often feel gloomy for some, as the days are always dark since the sun cannot shine under the thick clouds and snowfall. The dark days can bring sadness, especially for the elderly who cannot move much anymore or cannot just freely go to their loved ones during these sad times. The sadness would then develop into the winter blues, a feeling where the gloomy atmosphere of the winter season will affect your emotions.
If you are a caregiver, you would typically find it difficult to deal with the winter blues if the person you are taking care of is experiencing it. So, to help you deal with this dilemma, here are some tips that you can follow to shake away the winter blues of the elderly.
Talk to Them More Frequently
Communication is needed by the elderly for them to have a more positive outlook in life, so be sure to talk to them more frequently during the winter season so they wouldn’t feel lonely and sad. Their loneliness would often come out due to them thinking that they cannot go out anymore, but what they don’t realize is that they are not alone, as you are still there to take care of them always. Remind the person you are taking care of that you are always by their side by communicating with them constantly.
Have a Healthy Diet
Having an unhealthy diet can often affect the elderly’s mood, so it is also important that you give them a proper meal that is packed with the nutrients that they need to be more energized and thus be happier. There are certain kinds of food that boost our happy hormones (endorphins), and some of those are quinoa, mushrooms, salmon, and grapes. You can incorporate these foods into the elderly’s diet so that they have more energy for the day. You can also add these healthy foods to your diet to reduce caregiver stress and fatigue.
Give Them a Little Bit of Exercise
They may not be able to go out as much during the winter, but they would still have a little bit of energy to exercise during the morning. You can encourage them to walk for a few minutes around the house, or you can buy a treadmill that is specifically designed for the elderly. If you want some help in deciding which elderly treadmill to buy, check out our guide on the best elderly treadmills that you can buy online. Give them some exercise so that their body would remain fit and their mind would be filled with happy thoughts due to the increased production of endorphins caused by exercise.
Provide Some Sunlight at Home
While most of the winter days are gloomy, there is still a little bit of sunlight that comes out during the morning and afternoon. Take advantage of that sunlight by folding the curtains or opening the windows to get more light inside the house. By getting sunlight, the house wouldn’t feel as gloomy as normal, so the elderly might not even notice that the sky is dark. Always open the lights for hallways and rooms so there wouldn’t be any dark areas in the house that can further increase the winter blues for the elderly.
Plan Visits to Loved Ones
The elderly are not able to visit their loved ones alone anymore, so you should always accompany them whenever they want to see their family members during the winter season. You should schedule visits with loved ones to know when they will be available, and you should also tell the elderly your plans for visits. Allow them to socialize with their loved ones every once in a while during the winter so that they wouldn’t feel sad or lonely about their situation.
Encourage Their Hobbies
Another way for them to stop experiencing the winter blue is to get busy doing the hobbies they love, like listening to music, reading books (or listening to audiobooks), or watching TV shows. Encourage them to always do their hobbies so that they won’t have to think about the gloomy days of the winter season. In addition, you can also help them discover new hobbies, like building puzzles or answering crossword or Sudoku challenges, which are great games for stimulating their mind.
These are just some of the simple ways that you can prevent the elderly from feeling the winter blues. You can also apply these tips even if it isn’t winter so that the elderly will be happier and more energized every day.
You can also give your elderly loved ones a weighted blanket that will keep them warm and comfortable during the winter season. Find out more about these by reading our Ultimate Guide to Weighted Blankets.
For more ideas, you may also check out our article about Simple Elderly Music with Chimes.