Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is more than just a feeling of sadness. SAD is depression caused from seasonal change typical from summer to fall and winter. As daylight decreases, the days grow shorter. In some areas of the country, fall and winter are gray and gloomy compared to the sunshine and blue skies of the spring and summer. According to home care service experts, this disorder reoccurs every year about the same time and resolves itself in the spring. Home care service personnel share that although many people shake this off as the typical winter blues, SAD is real, and should be addressed, not ignored.
Fall and winter depression identified as SAD may appear as irritability and fatigue. Home care service experts are well-trained to work with individuals experiencing sunlight deficit. Recognizing that it is not just the change in temperature that may be causing both physical and mental stress is just one step for treatment. Having the support system of a caregiver who recognizes your parent’s needs may also be life enhancing. In your parent’s younger years, they may have experienced similar symptoms. However, with family, work and life obligations they worked through SAD. For an older adult with fewer friends and family readily available, they may sit alone with the gray skies seeping deep into their bones.
The companionship of a support person from a home care service or finding activities or volunteer options for your parent may help alleviate some of the angst caused by seasonal change. However, expert home care service personnel recommend discussing your parent’s state of depression or lack of energy with their medical team. Confirm the diagnosis and seek their advice that may include a change of diet or medication.