Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD can rear its head this time of year in elderly patients. This is usually due to the holiday season and it’s correlation with memories of happier times. If you are a caregiver of an aging person, you may observe a change in their mood during the holidays. According to the publication, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, SAD is classified as a recurrent major depressive disorder that occurs only during a specific time of the year. The disorder then goes into full remission thereafter. Post-acute care communities experience these situations every holiday season.
Treatment may be as simple as relieving loneliness through visitations and outings. In more severe cases antidepressant drugs have been known to improve the quality of life.
As a caregiver at a post-acute community, it is important to keep in mind that the elderly person generally denies any problems which can make it that much harder to know if the elder person is having any issues. You can help the elder person feel better by including them in general activities such as:
- Making holiday cookies
- Church Activities
- Holiday Parties
- Gift Wrapping
- Christmas Lighting
- Gift Making
- Share in Exercising
It isn’t easy getting older, and the holiday season can be a reminder of that. As a caregiver in a post acute-care community, use these steps to try and alleviate some of the sadness in your patience so that this holiday season can be as happy for them as possible.