Five tips for helping your elderly loved ones with the winter blues

We have all had one of those days this past year that has led us to feel sad, alone and even experiencing a dark cloud hovering above our heads. With the days short and evenings dark, lots of people during this time are suffering from the “winter blues”.

In the UK alone, around 2 million Britons are impacted by the “winter blues” or better known Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  If you have noticed a change in your loved one’s behaviour they may be suffering from the “winter blues”.

Symptoms include excessive tiredness and then in turn sleep problems, unsociable behaviour, irritability, overeating and depression.

Here are our top 5 tips for helping your elderly loved ones to beat the winter blues this January.

Let the light in

One of the best ways to brightening up moods in an instant is by welcoming the natural light in. While the winter brings along the dark days, getting natural sunlight can be challenging at times but light therapy has shown to be one of the best ways to eliminate the winter blues.

Research has shown that light therapy is an effective way on beating the blues. Whether that be just opening up your curtains or getting outside, exposure to the sunlight for as little as 20 minutes can have a significant improvement on your mood.

At Crouched Friars the mental health and wellbeing our residents has always remained our top priority. Our carers spend time with every resident each day to discuss how they’re feeling and monitor their wellness and regularly encouraging our residents to still embrace the outside even during the Winter.

Encourage physical activity

Scientifically proven to be a successful way to beat the first signs of winter blues is by doing some simple exercise activities. According to research, those who are aged between 60-80 should be exercising for at least 2.5 hours every week, averaging to about 30 minutes a day.

Here at Crouched Friars, we promote a healthy lifestyle for all our residents where our carers spend time with residents to ensure they experience maximum physical every day. Surrounding our home are beautifully landscaped gardens, providing secure walking surfaces, seating and an abundance of flora and fauna for residents to discover.

Check-in regularly

Staying in touch and checking in with your loved ones can be a huge mood enhancer.  There is no right or wrong way to going about checking in with a loved one but by just asking, listening and supporting them, is the first steps in helping them.

While our visits have stopped due to the third national lockdown, a simple phone or video call with a loved one can greatly brighten their spirits. Our residents get a huge amount of enjoyment from checking in with their friends and relatives on a weekly basis.

Encourage learning a new hobby

No matter what your age is, you are never too old to learn a new hobby. After the first lockdown, many of us have developed a new hobby since the first lockdown as to allows individuals to take their mind of the stress of daily life, keeping the mind and hands busy.

Research has demonstrated by engaging in mind stimulating activities “may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and overall dementia”.  The simple act of learning a new hobby can help eliminate the early signs of depression, loneliness and even dementia in seniors by at least 30%.

Supply a list of helplines

Sometimes our loved ones find it hard to admit their feelings to friends and families, by providing them with a list of helplines they can reach out to can greatly help them. There are many charities and helplines out there to support elderly individuals looking for mental health advice.

For mental health and general advice, call Age UK: 0800 678 1602

For loneliness and general advice, call Independent Age: 0800 319 6789

For mental health support, call the Samaritans: 116 123

For befriending and mental health advice, call The Silver Line: 0800 470 80 90

For grief and bereavement advice, call Cruse: 0808 808 1677

Based in Colchester, Essex, we provide specialist support including dementia care, creating a safe environment for individuals to meet new friends and form wonderful and lifelong connections.

If you are interested in finding out more about Crouched Friars Residential Home, our friendly team would be happy to talk to you via 01359 230773 or if you fill out our contact form and a member of our team will get in touch.

< Back to news

Latest News

Crouched Friars spring update!

Posted on May 20th, 2022

As the flowers have started to bloom in our garden, the air is warmer and the sun has begun to shine, we are pleased to share some of the exciting springtime activities we have been up to at Crouched Friars Residential Home. We have been organising our lovely garden, where we plant an array of […]

Read more >

Brew Monday at Crouched Friars

Posted on January 17th, 2022

With the Christmas festivities now over for another year, it is reported that millions of people across the UK are struggling with the widely recognised, ‘winter blues’. The Mental Health Charity, Samaritans, recognises Monday 18th of January as one of the most difficult days of the year, with many people feeling alone with their problems. […]

Read more >

A Fun and Festive time at Crouched Friars

Posted on December 22nd, 2021

With the countdown to Christmas now truly upon us, it seemed like a good time to take a look at what’s been going on at Crouched Friars over the last few weeks. Our residential care home, based in Colchester provides nursing and dementia care and ensures that there is always lots going on to keep […]

Read more >

Crouched Friars residents throw a good right hook

Posted on December 14th, 2021

Our residents at Crouched Friars were put through their paces recently when they got involved with some boxing lessons. We recently welcomed Chloe who runs GFitness, to the home to challenge residents with boxing training. Residents were very inquisitive and loved to practice their stamina and strength with the trainers. Paulina Eagle, home manager at […]

Read more >

Seasonal Cheer at Crouched Friars

Posted on December 6th, 2021

Crouched Friars has had a busy few months of activities, events and visits from VIPs.  Halloween, Bonfire Night and a Macmillan coffee morning are just some of the things that the staff and residents at Crouched Friars Residential home in Colchester have been getting involved with. This season’s activities have provided cheer and entertainment to […]

Read more >