The Winter Blues: How To Avoid Them When You Are Older
Tips, information and resources discussing senior blues, so that you can avoid feeling low in your later years.
In winter, the freezing winds can bring with them more than a need for a thicker scarf. Winter often brings in the winter blues amongst the elderly.
Many elderly people suffer from different levels of the winter blues which is a term used to describe feeling low and depressed during the colder months.
This can be because of a lack of the natural light, and because of a higher restriction on getting out and about. The cold may also cause issues like arthritis to be more painful, and Christmas can cause real distress amongst those who have lost loved ones.
It isn’t all doom and gloom though, there are ways to avoid the winter blues as much as possible. It is important to try and do everything you can to avoid feeling low, so you can get through winter with at least some level of having enjoyed the season. You deserve to feel happy all year round.
Here are our top tips for avoiding the winter blues as you get older:
Spend More Time With Those You Love
Over 9 million people in the UK say they feel lonely most of the time. You don’t have to feel isolated, but you do need to take action to ensure you do see people and spend time with friends and family.
You might struggle to get out of the house in which case, let those you love know they need to come and see you. Ask them to pay a visit for a cup of tea and a chat. Just a couple of hours spending time with somebody you like can make a big difference to your overall sense of wellbeing.
Speak To Your Doctor
If you think you are depressed and not just low, or you think you have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) then you should see your GP. It may be you need help and support with medication, counselling or other support.
What you eat has a huge influence on how you feel. Vitamin D deficiency for example can actually cause you to feel low, and in winter you get less of it from sunlight. The NHS recommends seeking it from food sources such as: oily fish, egg yolk, liver, Vitamin D fortified foods and red meat. You can also take a supplement to be sure you’re getting enough. This is just one example of one vitamin that can affect how you feel if you don’t get enough of it.
Overall, a good balanced diet is really important in later life and especially in winter. You can find out more information about healthy eating in later life here.
Winter can be a stressful time for many older people who find Christmas shopping crowds, busy supermarkets and packed buses a bit too full on. Try to make your routine as stress free as possible. Check the weather the day before, always keep food in the house in case of bad weather, get to know when the shops are quietest and do Christmas and other events your own way.
Reach Out For Help
It may be that you are struggling in your home and that is why you feel down. Perhaps you are struggling with day to day tasks like cleaning, getting dressed and generally taking care of yourself and your home. If this is a major cause of the winter blues for you, it might be time you looked into getting some help. There are many options available to you. Assisted living for example is a sheltered housing setup where you can get support as and when you need it but you remain in a home that you are independent in. Assisted living can be an excellent choice for residents who feel they just want help on hand if they need it.
Residential homes and care homes are available, as well as nursing homes, for more dedicated care. You could also contact a live-in care agency for information about live-in care which would enable you to remain in your own home, but with the company and help of a trained live-in care professional. The right live-in care agency will be able to talk you through the details so you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.