Winter is here, which means temperatures are dropping, nights are longer, and the sun isn’t making regular daily appearances. Enter a season of depression for many seniors, as all of these factors contribute to a syndrome known as SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder.
If you visited senior relatives or friends in assisted living over the holidays, you may have noticed changes in personality and mood that could be related to SAD. Common symptoms, per FamilyDoctor.org, include oversleeping, daytime fatigue, a spike in appetite, difficulty concentrating, lethargy, sensitivity to social rejection, and loss of enjoyment/avoidance of social situations.
Consider a dose of Vitamin D, proven to ease symptoms of depression during the dark and dreary winter months.
In this article from Suite101.com, Tracy Dye suggests stimulating the production of endorphins (“feel-good hormones that generate a sense of well-being”) normally triggered by sun exposure with an increase in one’s daily Vitamin D intake.
Though it’s not a guaranteed cure for all symptoms of depression (and may not work for everyone), taking Vitamin D in the coming months is certainly worth a try – and would likely carry other health benefits too. You can find Vitamin D supplements in most pharmacies and drug stores. To be on the safe side, check with your senior loved one’s physician or caregivers in assisted living before sharing the supplement with them.