As the weather changes, the temperature gets cooler, and the days get shorter, many people are turning their thoughts to fun autumn activities, and even the holidays ahead. This shift in seasons can be a fun and enjoyable time, but they can also be the start of something more difficult for your parent — seasonal affective disorder. Also referred to as SAD, seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression linked to the change of seasons. As a family caregiver, learning more about this condition can help you to understand the challenges your parent might struggle with as the end of the year comes.
For most people living with seasonal affective disorder, symptoms of depression begin in the fall and early winter, and may continue to worsen as winter continues. These symptoms begin and end around the same time each year, and often seem to arise and and suddenly. The symptoms of this type of depression are very similar to other forms of depression, including:
Low interest in activities
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling depressed most days, and for the majority of the day
- Feeling agitated
- Low energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Feelings of guilty
Though not fully understood, seasonal affective disorder is thought to be caused by a few factors, including:
- Disruption in melatonin levels at this time of year
- Disruption in serotonin levels, which often drop as a result of less exposure to sunlight that occurs during the fall and winter months
- Changes in circadian rhythms
SAD can make a tremendous impact on your senior’s quality of life and functioning at this time of year. If your aging parent is showing symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, do not hesitate to talk to their doctor. They can give recommendations for how to cope with SAD, and how to help your parent get through these challenging symptoms so they can find more enjoyment in this time of year.
If you have been looking for ways to enhance your senior’s quality of life, and help them to cope more effectively with their health challenges, starting home care for that may be the ideal solution. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your aging parent on a customized schedule that is appropriate not just for your senior’s needs, but also for the level of care you already give them. They can then provide a set of services tailored specifically for your parent to help them manage their needs effectively while also boosting their independence and overall quality of life. For an elderly adult who is suffering from a condition such as seasonal affective disorder, home care can provide much needed emotional support, companionship, mental stimulation, and more to help your parent cope and move forward.
If you are considering homecare in Cheshire, CT for your aging parent, please contact the caring staff at Franciscan Ever There Care. Call today 203-630-2881.