Even in the mildest winter, the decrease in sunshine — and its beneficial by-product Vitamin D — can wreak havoc on seniors in assisted living.
How do you know if it’s SAD, as opposed to depression or something else? Check yourself or your loved one against these common symptoms, compliments of FamilyDoctor.org:
- daytime fatigue
- sensitivity to social rejection
- a spike in appetite
- difficulty concentrating
- loss of enjoyment
- avoidance of social situations
Consider these tips for beating the blues and warding off SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder):
- Take a vitamin D supplement. According to this WebMD article on the subject, seniors already need more of this essential nutrient, whether it’s winter or not, and it’s naturally present in only a few foods. Per the piece, “The recommendations for adults up to age 69 rose to 600 IU/day, and to 800 IU/day for adults starting at age 70.”
- If it’s a sunny winter day, bundle up and take a walk — even if it’s just for ten minutes or less. The brisk air, exercise and sunshine lends a much-needed boost.
- Eat more fish. Fatty fish like salmon or even canned tuna are full of nutrients, particularly the all-important vitamin D, says this Health.com article.
- Drink milk or orange juice: both are fortified with Vitamin D.