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How You Can Help Seniors Manage Seasonal Depression with Engaging Winter Activities

seniors at an indoor party socializing

Beat Senior Seasonal Depression with Engaging Indoor Winter Activities

During the winter months, depression can increase. For some seniors, depression only occurs during the winter months. Scheduling regular indoor activities can help to relieve or prevent the “winter blues”.

Approximately six million American seniors are affected by depression. Even seasonal depression can increase health risks, including the risk of death.

Symptoms of Depression

  • Sluggishness
  • Lack of Interest
  • Over or undersleeping
  • Combativeness
  • Moodiness
  • Withdrawal
  • Rejection of Routine
  • Low Appetite
  • Neglecting self-care

(Seniors Guide)

Activities Seniors Can Enjoy During Cold Winter Monthsa graphic of a woman watching TV - seasonal depression

Social Activities

Loneliness and depression are linked. Encourage social activities to brighten a loved one’s winter season and help prevent depression.

  • Visiting with friends on a regular basis
  • Communicating online via video chat
  • Letter writing or scheduled phone calls
  • Joining a senior hobby club
  • Getting involved in a religious group
  • Volunteering if able

 

Creative Hobbies

Having a goal in sight gives seniors something to enjoy and to look forward to. Finding indoor hobby projects that can be completed over the winter is a great way to stave off the winter blues. Try:

  • Scrapbooking
  • Completing puzzles
  • Knitting or crocheting
  • Making models and crafts
  • Painting or other arts
  • Playing board games

 

Adult Education

Acquiring a new skill engages the mind, which is good for mental health and can ease depression. Look for:

  • Local book clubs at the library
  • Community education classes
  • Lectures at museums
  • Classes for specific skills
  • Interest-based discussion groups
  • Opportunities to learn online

 

Ideas to Help Seniors Stay Active Indoors

Exercise is proven to relieve depression which makes staying fit even more important for senior health. Use these ideas to keep seniors moving safely:

  • Take walks at malls or community centers
  • Create a small home gym
  • Engage in daily stretching sessions
  • Sign up for senior yoga, Zumba, or aerobics
  • Enjoy an indoor swimming pool
  • Seek personal training at a gym or at home
  • Get into a strengthening program via physical therapy

(NCBI)

MegaphoneHome Care Tip:

Seasonal depression can be linked to mental health and memory disorders. Encourage a visit to their doctor if a senior’s mood does not improve despite increasing activity, socializing, or exercise. Seniors who spend lots of time alone may benefit from our Companion Care Services. Give us a call to discuss your unique needs: 615-422-7549

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