Older Adults & The Winter Blues

Winter Blues, or SAD, is a seasonal disorder that typically occurs in the winter months.

Unlike, regular depression, a person who suffers from winter blues only has the condition at certain times of the year. Winter Blues occur most often in late fall and winter.

Older adults are more susceptible to winter blues because of certain biological and social factors.

Three main factors contribute to the increased risk for older adults.

  • Lack of Sunlight: As the days grow shorter, there is less sunlight which can affect a person’s hormones and create an environment for depression. If an older person is unable to spend time outside, they may experience more hormonal disturbance leading to depressive symptoms.
  • Lack of Vitamin D: Vitamin D is processed less efficiently in an older person’s body. According to the National Institutes for Health (NIH), older people are in the at-risk category for vitamin D deficiency.
  • Lack of Socialization: In a study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), it was stated that social isolation is felt by nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65. Older people who lack community or are housebound are at risk of depressive symptoms from loneliness. During the winter, when they may be housebound, this risk increases.

What Can Be Done to Help Older Adults?
Recognize and understand the signs and symptoms of Winter Blues. A few typical warning signs include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed

If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms or are concerned about Winter Blues, reach out to your provider, or a member of our team.

Floyd Valley Senior Life Solutions

  • Our program is an intensive outpatient therapy program designed to meet the unique needs of individuals typically 65 and older experiencing depression and/or anxiety related to life changes that are often associated with aging.
  • Anyone can make a referral to our program, including self- referrals, primary care physicians, specialists, family members, friends, community groups, and nursing or residential facilities.
  • We are dedicated to improving the quality of life for the patients we serve. If you would like more information, education, or would like to discuss support for yourself or a loved one, please call us at 712-546-3700.