This is the time of year when the fun and excitement of the holidays have passed and we begin to look forward to warmer sunnier weather. The only problem? We here in Minnesota still have months of cold darkness before we see a hint of spring weather. While some of us may love the short days and cold nights, this season can actually have a negative impact on the health of others.
According to the Mayo Clinic, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in the season. Those affected by SAD typically experience less energy and increased moodiness throughout the fall and winter months. The disorder more commonly impacts those living far away from the equator as these areas experience the most dramatic decreases in sunlight during the winter months. It’s no surprise why Minnesota home care patients deal with this disorder every year.
Seasonal affective disorder can impact anyone and the home care professionals at Best Home Care have felt symptoms from time to time. It’s important to ensure that these common feelings don’t evolve into a more serious condition requiring medical treatment like depression or bipolar disorder. Tracking emotional health is especially important for those receiving personal health care and at-home care services.
Below are some ways that home care aids and PCAs can help their patients beat the winter blues this year:
- More Sun! Exposure to natural sunlight has been shown to increase energy levels and improve moods during the winter months. Make it a point to get outside at least once a day and/or open up the shades to let the sun shine in.
- Get Moving Exercise during these winter months is essential to stay healthy both physically and mentally. Personal care assistants should encourage their patients to participate in at least one physical activity per day.
- Don’t Get Sick Colder months mean sickness which will only worsen SAD. Make a habit of frequently washing your hands with soap and using a sanitizer to wipe down commonly touched areas like doorknobs, faucet handles, and phones.
For more home care tips and resources, contact the professionals at Best Home Care. We enjoy sharing ideas on how to provide the best home care and will work with you to ensure your personal care services are the best they can be. Learn more about seasonal affective disorder and how it can affect any age of individual receiving in-home supportive services.