Seniors relish the endless days of summer when the pleasant temperatures are ideal for outdoor activities, socialization and spending leisure hours in the sun.
Gardening, for instance, consumes seniors’ summer afternoons, infusing these older individuals with hours of joy and purpose. The backyard garden offers seniors an opportunity to share their bountiful harvests with neighbors, loved ones, and home care providers and doubly serves as a chance to meaningfully socialize.
As the warm season winds down, seniors’ spirits descend into abysmal depths. The end of summer means less time to spend outside with neighbors and with grandchildren who are occupied by school. Families return from summer vacations, resulting in fewer visits to their elderly loved ones.
Short winter days force darkness to prevail. The winter season’s holidays are especially difficult for seniors whose spouses or loved ones have passed. Elders who live alone may be left with difficult memories and unshakable feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Loneliness is not the only drawback of the end of summer. Flu season starts right around the autumn months, forcing affected seniors to remain miserably cooped up at home until the cold passes. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) also plagues vulnerable seniors in the dark spell of winter.
Fortunately, seniors can prevent the end of summer blues. Elderly individuals who incorporate simple tactics remain upbeat and involved in life, even when summer has sung its annual swan song:
Summertime gardening is a joy. But indoor gardening during the winter months can also be fruitful, giving seniors a few tendrils to nurture and care for. Indoor gardening reduces seniors’ stress levels, diminishes the chance of developing dementia and keeps their hands busy.
Windowsill flower gardens are ideal for the elderly. The bright plant blooms provide bursts of warm color during the drab, gray winter months. Alternately, edible gardens that feature herbs and vegetables are rewarding for seniors to grow; and, they can consume these nutrient-rich plants.
Sunlight offers a rich source of vitamin D. A lack of vitamin D in its early stages can lead to weakness or unexplained fatigue. When advanced, a vitamin D deficiency results in bone fractures, increased rates of heart disease and even colon or breast cancer.
Seniors can prevent losses of vitamin D by exposing their skin to the sun’s rays for 20 minutes several times per week. When it is impossible to stay in the chilly outdoors for long, incorporate sunbathing in smaller increments to keep a vitamin D deficiency at bay.
The sun is an effective mood booster. Seniors who experience seasonal affective disorder should bathe in the luxurious rays of the warming sun. In adverse weather, install a light box indoors and use it for 30 to 45 minutes per day to make up for the lack of winter sunlight.
3. Eat Healthily
Along with the vitamins sun exposure provides, seniors should consume balanced meals daily. A diet of fresh fruits, vegetables and proteins act as a natural mood and energy booster. Winter fruits, like apples, kiwis and pears, are loaded with vitamins that keep seniors healthy.
Seniors with green thumbs can harvest herbs and vegetables from their indoor gardens. When planning activities during the cool season, schedule weekends of apple picking with the grandkids. The events serve as social outings and deliver to the senior abundant apples, with heaps of nutrients.
4. Plan Events
Young family members caught up in the frenzy of running a household have little time to spend with aging loved ones. Seniors who take charge and invite their adult children to winter events are more empowered than those who wait for family members to set dates for gatherings.
Planning an event gives older adults a pleasurable activity to anticipate. The preparations start as these seniors decorate the home or buy special knickknacks to present to their grandchildren on the day of the event. The excitement grows, leaving seniors less time to feel blue.
Physical exercise keeps seniors’ bodies strong and their minds alert. Cool-weather exercises are plentiful, and many can be done indoors. Regularly engaging in moderate exercise routines instills in seniors a feeling of accomplishment, which beats the end of summer blues.
Walking indoors at a community center or mall is an excellent way to stay fit when the outside temps are chilly. Dancing offers a multitude of benefits: Seniors who twirl to music experience a sense of community and camaraderie, higher energy levels, improved flexibility and greater happiness.
6. Reach Goals
The busy summer months will keep a senior’s date book full. But when summer ends, seniors’ schedules are wide open. Take these slower months to work toward a postponed goal. Older people who accomplish the items on a to-do list become motivated, even enough to achieve additional goals.
7. Maintain Schedules
The end of summer blues is sufficiently warded off by adhering to established schedules. Seniors who regularly attend community events or religious worship should continue to stick to their calendar despite it being a cooler season. Replace the tendency to hibernate with active community involvement.
Seniors may need extra support to help them engage in activities that overcome the end of summer depression. These instances are when caregivers from Assisting Hands Home Care become invaluable. Our comprehensive home care services are designed to sustain seniors’ health and well-being no matter what the season.
Our professional caregivers, for instance, will transport senior care recipients to yoga classes, doctor’s appointments and social events. We’ll help your loved one shop for fresh, nutritious produce. Our cheerful caregivers also socialize with seniors to eliminate feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Specialized services include hospice care, memory care and respite care. The flexibility we offer in our care plans is advantageous, especially with long-term care. Assisting Hands Home Care services ensure that elderly individuals exercise regularly, eat healthily and maintain social connections.
As a premier, licensed senior care provider serving Villa Park, Lombard, Elmhurst, and Addison, IL and the surrounding areas of DuPage county, Illinois, Assisting Hands Home Care is experienced in delivering compassionate care to seniors to promote dignity and quality of life.