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Seasonal Impact on Seniors with Dementia

Seniors with DementiaWe as a society have long known how much the changing seasons can affect our mental health. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may be the most well-known of these effects. Seniors with dementia are especially susceptible to these changes. Recent studies have highlighted the seasonal impact on seniors with dementia. As senior care experts, we must pay close attention to these patterns and make adjustments to ensure your elderly loved ones receive the needed care and support. With the proper knowledge and awareness, we can help seniors with dementia navigate the challenges of seasonal changes and maintain their overall quality of life.

How Seasons Affect Seniors with Dementia

A comprehensive study conducted by researchers from the United States and Canada analyzed over 3,000 participants to investigate the association between seasons and cognitive abilities in seniors. The researchers compared and contrasted the differences in cognitive function between individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia and those without these conditions. This research may have significant implications for understanding the relationship between seasonal changes and cognitive decline in aging populations.

Cognitive Performance

As we age, we naturally experience changes in our cognitive abilities. And now, the study referenced earlier has found that seasons may influence these changes. The study suggests that older adults tend to perform better with regard to cognitive abilities during the summer and autumn. On the other hand, their performance can decline during the winter and spring. When researchers controlled for the factors that could influence the results, older adults had 30 percent higher odds of being within range of diagnosis for mild cognitive impairments or dementia during winter.

The researchers also found seasonal variations in the levels of Alzheimer’s-related proteins in spinal fluid. Seasons also affected the brain expression of genes associated with cognition. Scientists may now have a greater understanding of how dementia is managed and of biological mechanisms.

Symptoms Worsen During Winter

Being mindful of the seasonal impact on seniors with dementia and associated challenges during winter and spring is essential. Cognitive decline and worsening dementia symptoms can be challenging to deal with, and we must provide them with support and care during this time.

Dementia-related symptoms are diverse and can include the following:

  • Worsened Sundowning: Senior seniors with dementia experienced worse episodes of sundowning, or heightened agitation, confusion, or aggression during the late afternoon or early evening.
  • Disturbance in Sleep: The shorter days and longer hours of darkness during winter can also be confusing and upsetting for seniors with dementia, leading to restlessness and disturbed sleep.
  • Depression: The lack of daylight during winter months can cause low moods and depressive symptoms in seniors with dementia, creating a more significant challenge for seniors attempting to cope with their condition.

With these findings, a key takeaway is that more dementia care resources and community awareness may be necessary during the winter. The study also reaffirms recent discoveries about the mental health effects of seasons, and that early symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s should be noted. Allocating more resources, raising awareness, and continuing to study the effects of seasons on senior adults can lead to improved care for seniors with

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dementia and other cognitive disorders.


The study has brought to light an important discovery, indicating that during the winter months, individuals with dementia require additional care and community support. This finding reinforces previous research highlighting how seasonal changes affect mental health and the importance of detecting symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s early. By allocating more resources, raising awareness, and exploring how seasonal factors impact elderly adults, we can enhance the quality of care for seniors with cognitive disorders.

Neighborly Home Care Assists Seniors

We understand how difficult seeing a loved one live with dementia and other cognitive disorders can be. If you have a loved one suffering from mild cognitive impairment or advancing dementia or who needs help with day-to-day tasks, Neighborly Home Care can assist with professional in-home senior care services.

Our elder care experts have provided home health care services for many years. We care for seniors with dementia, provide home care for those with physical disabilities, and more. In addition, we also help people work to find financial assistance for elderly home care for their loved ones. Our experienced, knowledgeable caregivers can give your loved ones the proper attention to continue having a full life, even with dementia.