How to Fight Off Seasonal Depression

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While it can be beautiful to watch snowflakes as they fall gracefully to the ground and see the twinkle of holiday lights, winter also comes with shorter days and colder temperatures. This decrease in daylight hours may contribute to seniors developing seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD or seasonal depression. SAD may leave seniors feeling more depressed, fatigued, and irritable and less motivated. Concentration and the ability to get things done becomes more difficult.

By staying involved in hobbies, older adults can fight back against seasonal depression and boost their mood. Engaging in activities which are enjoyable as well as socializing with others can increase serotonin levels in the brain and helps lift one’s spirits.

In terms of practical tips, if the weather is decent and sunny, but not too cold or windy, getting outside to go for a walk by yourself or with a companion can be helpful. Stop to enjoy the beauty of the world and the details that bring nature to life. Exposure to natural sunlight is also beneficial for fighting depression. If getting outside is not possible or safe, seniors can sit near a window or door as the sun’s rays shine through.

Here are some suggestions for indoor hobbies to help alleviate SAD:

  • Play cards or board games with friends. Seniors can enjoy one other’s company and the laughter it brings. Many community centers have bridge clubs, activities and other groups for seniors.
  • Start a book club. Escape to another world through reading and engage in lively discussion about the story to stimulate the mind.
  • Create.   Whether seniors enjoy painting, knitting, crocheting, building models, or working on DIY projects, these are valuable ways they can keep busy and explore their creativity. They are also beneficial outlets for self-expression and also a fun way to make handmade gifts for the holidays.
  • Sign up for an exercise class like yoga, Pilates, or Zumba. Physical activity increases endorphins, which help people to feel happier and more positive. Plus, it can help seniors stay in shape over the winter.
  • Scrapbook to cherish all of the memories they’ve made and reflect on good times. It can also be a wonderful way to share these memories with others and have something to look at if they’re feeling down and need a pick-me-up.

There are countless other activities to do as well such as playing an instrument, getting involved in a senior theater group, volunteering in the community, baking, or joining a social club. Seniors should follow their interests and explore new opportunities as well. Make it a point to be social instead of becoming isolated.  Take a look at our Pinterest boards to gather even more ideas for winter activities.
An in-home caregiver can be a wonderful source of companionship and also support seniors in attending a variety of activities or events.

how-to-fight-off-seasonal-depression-this-winterAlways Best Care Senior Services provides personalized care for seniors to help individuals make the most of each day and safely age in place. Seniors can build wonderful friendships and have someone to talk to, eat meals and attend events with, and assist with entertaining and other tasks. The holidays can be a difficult time for seniors, but staying active and having someone to check in on them can help things to run more smoothly. Contact Always Best Care today  at (267) 217-7059 or  dbaim@abc-seniors.com for a free consultation and to learn more about how in-home care can support seniors.

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How Seniors Stay Active

Staying Active with Hobbies for Seniors

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Now that autumn has arrived, summer activities such as gardening or boating are winding down. It’s time to make the switch and start in on  fall and winter hobbies instead. Staying active throughout the year is a wonderful way to exercise your mind and body, ward off boredom and isolation and try new things. By exploring new hobbies and activities you will broaden your horizons and enhance your knowledge base.
Here are a few autumn hobbies to test out:

  1. Photography

Head outside and capture images of the fall foliage, morning sunrises, evening sunsets, winter’s chill and rainbows after the rain. Look for birds, rabbits, squirrels, deer and other creatures enjoying the great outdoors, or find still life indoors that inspires you. You could also click photos of family and friends as you celebrate together, or participating in  day-to-day activities. Let your imagination run wild and your creativity shine.

  1. Knitting/Crocheting

What better way to prepare for cooler weather and upcoming holidays than by knitting or crocheting? Use this tutorial on YouTube for simple instructions. You can make baby blankets, scarves, mittens, socks, sweaters, and much more! What a special homemade gift or donation to charities in need. Craft stores and community centers teach knitting/crocheting or have weekly or monthly get-togethers where community members can come together and socialize while working on their craft.

  1. Canning

Put all of the wonderful produce you grew this summer or picked at the local farm to good use. Can your own jams and jellies, sauces, pickles, fruits, and much more! You’ll have delicious homemade goods to enjoy throughout the winter and spring until it’s time to start gardening again. This can also be a great way to use up the apples you’ve picked this fall.

  1. DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Projects

Whether you love painting, sewing, beadwork, needlepoint, woodworking, building, handyman or other tasks, autumn is a great time to start. There are lots of fall- and holiday-inspired crafts to make for decorating your home, selling, or giving as gifts. Put a personal touch on projects you find to make them your own. DIY projects can also be a wonderful way to spend time with grandchildren and do fun things together.  Are you good with odd jobs around the house?  Offer your services to a neighbor or friend in need.  Your hobby can become a way to give back to your community.

  1. Bird Watching

While you’re outside taking in the gorgeous weather and hiking, bring along a pair of binoculars and a small bird book and go bird watching. See how many different types of birds you can find in your area and how many you can identify. This is also a fun and easy hobby to do while you’re traveling.  Bird Clubs of America has groups throughout the U.S.  Search their locations here.

 

These are just a few of the many hobbies you can enjoy this fall & winter! You may also want to try baking, scrapbooking, painting, golf, hunting, antiquing, book clubs, writing, and much more. Find things that interest you and your social circle will widen!

If you’re concerned about your senior’s safety at home or feel that they could benefit from someone checking in and providing support with daily activities, contact Always Best Care today at (267) 217-7059 or email David Baim at dbaim@abc-seniors.com.
Empower your senior to stay active as they age in place and enjoy pleasant companionship through the help of an in-home caregiver.

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8 Amazing Activities Seniors and Kids Can Do Together


The holiday season has come and gone, and the calendar that was once so full of events and activity has become empty. For seniors, this can be a lonely time. However, it’s also a tough time for kids who have just experienced the magical wonder of family time during the holidays, but now have to go back to their own daily routines.

Thankfully, these two groups (seniors and kids) have more in common than most people might think. With that in mind, here is a list of activities that members of the elderly population can enjoy with their younger counterparts:

#1 – Arts & Crafts Projects
Crafting is cool! Just take a look at Pinterest or perform a Google search to find some amazing projects that can help aging individuals connect with their more youthful friends and family members.

#2 – Baking and Cooking
Everybody loves to eat, and working together to prepare some simple recipes is a wonderful way for seniors to exchange wisdom with their grandchildren.

#3 – Enjoy Nature
Regardless of age, spending time in nature is one of the most healthy things a person can do. Short walks in the woods are perfect for seniors and ideal for children who might get bored or restless during longer periods of time spent outdoors.

#4 – Playing Games
Playing games together is lots of fun for both seniors and kids. Today, people can choose classic board games, or kids can introduce their grandparents to simple puzzles and games that can be played on smartphones or tablets. The possibilities are limitless!

#5 – Reading Together
Story time isn’t just for those under the age of five or six. Everybody loves stories, and when they’re shared between seniors and children, some real magic happens!

#6 – Playing Music
8 Amazing Activities Seniors and Kids Can Do TogetherSitting down together at the piano to play a simple song or two is a great way for seniors and youngsters to share time together. Music opens up the heart and the brain, plus it’s a language that brings people together, regardless of generation.

#7 – Look at (and Talk About) Family Photos
Looking at pictures can make the time fly, but it’s also a great avenue through which seniors can pass down their wisdom — and memories — to the younger generation.

#8 – Just Be Together
Sometimes it’s perfectly okay to simply sit and be together. Seniors and children are more alike than they are different, and a lot can be shared by just spending quiet time in the same space. Through this practice, children can learn the value of patience and contemplation while seniors get a chance to see the future before it has a chance to grow up.

Active, Happy Seniors with Always Best Care

 

by Michael Lumbrazo

 

Contact David Baim, Always Best Care Senior Services of Plymouth Meeting, PA
(267) 217-7059

 

 

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