Helping the elderly beat the winter blues

At this time of year, the combination of dark evenings, dreary mornings and horrid weather can leave many people, in particular the elderly and vulnerable, feeling quite down, so it’s a good idea to make an extra effort to spend additional time with them.

Why not spare an afternoon to visit an elderly relative, friend or neighbour and spend time chatting to them over a cuppa or playing cards, looking at photo albums or listening to music. If you can, try assisting them on a walk or help them with any chores such as shopping or cleaning.

It’s also important that the elderly and vulnerable maintain a healthy diet – lots of fruit and vegetables are a must. You can read our tips for the elderly to eat well here.

Fatigue, general sadness, lack of interest and mood changes are all common signs that an elderly friend, relative or neighbour might be suffering from the winter blues. However, continuously feeling sad or down and the lack of sunlight at this time of year can lead many people to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is more severe.

If you are concerned that you or an elderly relative, friend or neighbour may be suffering from this, then we would recommend seeking medical advice.

It might be an idea to invest in a bright light especially for SAD as the light mimics sunlight and has been proven to improve a person’s mood. If you would like more information on SAD, please visit

Our carers are always monitoring our service user’s moods throughout the year, but in particular, during winter and the festive period and we do our best to make sure they have someone to talk to regularly and are helped up and out and about as much as possible.