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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5 Ways to Protect Seniors From Scams

Always Best Care, Plymouth Meeting, PA

There are many wonderful things about getting older and retiring, however there are also obstacles  seniors must learn to navigate. One of the most prominent issues with seniors is being the victim of scams. Seniors are often targeted because they are thought to have a lot of savings for retirement, were raised to be polite and trusting, may not have a strong understanding of technology, or may have memory difficulties.
All of these factors can make them more susceptible.

Common Scams Targeting Seniors

Here are a few scams that seniors and their families should be alert for:

  1. IRS Scams

Scammers may harass seniors claiming to be the IRS and make threatening calls trying to collect on unpaid back taxes. They try to obtain personal information and may threaten arrest, lawsuits, or other consequences. There has been recent crackdowns and arrests on these types of scams.  The Senate Committee on Aging estimates that nearly 1 million people have be targeted and 5,000 people lost $26 million last year.

You should know that when the IRS wants to legitimately contact you, they will first correspond via postal mail and never request payment information over the phone or threaten arrest for non-payment.

  1. Phone Scams

Phone scams in general are common. Callers often request sensitive information such as Social Security numbers, bank account information, credit card numbers, account passwords, and more.

Seniors should be reminded to never share personal or financial information over the phone, even if it seems legitimate. Always double-check sources or ask family members to check legitimacy.

  1. Prescription Drug Scams

It is not uncommon for seniors to take one or more prescription drugs. Depending on their insurance coverage and financial situation, they may go online looking for cheaper options. While some of these sources are legitimate, others are scams offering counterfeit drugs or may take payment without ever delivering the prescription.

You should only take prescriptions obtained through reputable sources.

  1. Technology Scams

Seniors are newer to using technology than younger generations and do not always have a strong grasp on the how-to’s. Scammers may call claiming to help with a non-existent virus on their computer or needing access to an account to make adjustments. They may also require high payments to complete these “fixes” and scam seniors out of a lot of money when nothing is actually wrong.

Additionally, these technology scams may look like pop-up browser windows simulating virus-scanning software. These fool their victims into either downloading a fake anti-virus program (at a substantial cost) or an actual virus that will open up whatever information is on the user’s computer to scammers.

The lesson here is do not click on anything without checking it’s certificate or origin.
Always Best Care Plymouth Meeting PA

  1. Grandparent Scams

Scammers are not above bringing family into the equation either. Seniors may receive calls claiming to be from a grandchild asking for money for rent, bail, tuition, or other needs. They often request that the money is wired. Seniors should check first with other family members to ensure that the request is legitimate before sending any money. Scammers may use personal information they find on social media to make calls sound more genuine.

There are also a variety of other investment, email, charity, and funeral scams that can occur as well. It is important that seniors stay alert and educated about potential risks. For example, friends may recommend a terrific investment advisor, however, they may in fact be part of a pyramid scheme.  You will know this if the return on investment promised is more that what the market is currently doing.

Family members should also check in regularly with older adults to see if they have received suspicious phone calls or emails, and carefully monitor their bank account for suspicious or fraudulent activity.

Always Best Care provides companionship and home helper services that can keep your senior safer. Having someone there to answer the phone or door, or be there with your senior during certain times of the day can help them to make more sound decisions and reduce their risk of being victim to a scam. For more information about Always Best Care and how your senior can benefit from in-home care and senior services, call David Baim (267) 217-7059 Or email dbaim@abc-seniors.com.

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