Winter is in full swing, and as the country braces for record low temperatures, it’s expected that everyone will be gearing up to fight the chill of the cold weather months. Older people are even more affected by the cold because apart from facing common chronic diseases that come with aging, they can also be more susceptible to the winter blues.

Winter sadness or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects roughly 5% of Americans, with another 10-15% having a milder variation of this condition. You’ll know if an elderly loved one is experiencing winter sadness if he shows signs of depression, has changes in appetite and cravings, is irritable, anxious, or has a difficult time falling asleep. Because SAD can last for months, it’s important to help seniors chase the blues away and be healthier both physically and mentally during the winter season. Here are some fun ways to chase the winter blues away.

Take up a new hobby

It may be tempting to curl up on the couch and watch TV all day when it’s cold outside, but doing something productive may be better to keep winter sadness at bay. Taking up a new hobby such as embroidery, assembling jigsaw puzzles, or coloring in adult coloring books can help you pass the time in a beneficial way as all of these activities can help to keep the mind active.

When you do things that challenge your brain, this results in better mental health and may even help to prevent dementia.

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Exercise

You may not feel like going for a walk or a run when it’s snowing outside, but there are other ways to stay active, keep fit, and chase the winter blues away. You can join a senior ballroom dancing class at your local community center or go for a walk in the mall. If you love to exercise, why not create a home gym so you can stay fit without breaking the bank? Try exercising along to a workout DVD, lifting light weights, or do yoga. Whatever you choose to do, make sure to be consistent and exercise at least three times a week for your physical and mental health.

Stay social

Though most people would like to hibernate when it’s cold outside, maintaining your favorite social activities can help to boost your mood and keep the winter blues away. Invite your friends for a winter potluck, or meet up for coffee at a warm and cozy coffee shop. Staying social prevents you from becoming isolated and lonely during the cold winter months.

This winter, follow these tips to keep winter sadness away. Doing so enables you to stay healthy and happy during the long cold months.

Editor's Note

When you have elder family members you are always concerned for their well-being. Keeping them safe and happy in all aspects of life will bring everyone peace-of-mind. This means before you retire you should start planning how aging will impact your family.

Longevity creates several issues. You don’t want to run out of money so retirement planning should start happening long before you retire. Take advantage of an employer’s 401(k) or other types of retirement plans that are available to you.

Now that you are saving money you need to safeguard those resources. The biggest involuntary risk are the consequences of Long-Term Care. Long-Term Care Services and Supports will drains savings and place a tremendous burden on your family. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says if you reach the age of 65 you have a 7 in 10 chance of needing some type of long-term care service before you leave the world.

How will those costs impact your lifestyle?  Being a family caregiver is hard, managing paid care is stressful and paid care drains assets. However affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will protect your savings and allow family to be family.

The best time to include Long-Term Care Insurance to your plan is before you retire when you can take advantage of low premiums and preferred health discounts.

Be sure to speak with a Long-Term Care Specialist as most insurance agents and financial advisors are not qualified to provide you with the proper advice to make solid recommendations and shop for the best coverage at the best value.

See the cost of long-term care and the availability of tax incentives and partnership plans by finding your state here: https://www.ltcnews.com/resources/state-information

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