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Spring is here! Sunlight is a main component to senior health, and a key characteristic at Rosette.

Daylight savings time is here and we are all looking forward to longer days and more sunlight. Everyone, regardless of age, receives health benefits from sunlight. However, there are some specific benefits particular to seniors. Some of these benefits are linked to better sleep, cardiovascular health, improved mood and stronger bones to name a few.

When we first found our home for Rosette Senior Living in Gladwyne, there were so many attributes of the home that initially struck us as special; the amount of common space, the garden area potential, the amount of accessible deck space, the split level design and much much more.

There was however one aspect of this home that we did not realize until we began renovation. Sunlight. We just spent many months in Rosette preparing and renovating this home to become a licensed personal care home in the state of Pennsylvania. While doing this, we were constantly amazed by the natural light and ridiculous brightness of the home. Even on the coldest and shortest days of winter, if the sun was out Rosette was bright and cheery.

What Are Some Benefits Seniors Receive From More Sunlight?

Vitamin D Production

At Rosette our activity area could not be brighter no matter what time of year.
We all know how important sunlight is and here on the East Coast seniors can suffer during winter months being stuck inside. Many seniors have degenerative bone diseases such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, and low levels of vitamin D can exacerbate symptoms of these conditions, including pain, limited mobility, and morning stiffness. Getting vitamin D via natural sunlight instead of taking supplements may be a better option for some seniors. High doses of supplemental vitamin D can lead to dangerously elevated levels of serum calcium, which can negatively affect your loved one’s cardiovascular health.

Boosting Your Mood!

Recent scientific articles have suggested that sunlight exposure and the production of serotonin (also known as the “happy chemical“) may be directly linked. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that tends to occur during the winter months, when sunlight is sparse and most people spend less time outdoors. These symptoms often go away once spring arrives, and an increase in serotonin production is common during the warmer months. All this means that when it comes to improving your mood, simply getting out in the sun may be enough; if the sunlight doesn’t make you feel happier, then the singing birds, blossoming flowers, and fresh air certainly will!

Improved Sleep Quality

Seniors who have a difficult time falling or staying asleep at night can benefit from more sun exposure during the day. The circadian rhythm on which our bodies function is essentially our natural clock, and in order for it to be properly ‘set’, we must be exposed to sunlight in the day and darkness at night. Sun exposure informs our body when it’s daytime, increasing attentiveness and wakefulness. As an added benefit, getting more sunlight during the day causes a boost in night-time production of melatonin (the sleep hormone).

Alzheimer’s Prevention

Studies have shown that increased sun exposure may help protect against certain degenerative brain disorders, including all-cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s believed that vitamin D deficiencies may play a large role in the onset of degenerative diseases, as well as overall lower cognitive functions. That’s why caregivers of the elderly need to make sure that the seniors they care for are getting an adequate amount of sunlight each day.

Pain Relief

The warmth of the sun can help your loved one overcome musculoskeletal pain and increase joint mobility. The extra vitamin D production provided by natural sunlight may also help ease the discomfort of chronic conditions. Another way sun exposure can help decrease pain is by reducing stress and boosting mood. Stress hormones can intensify your loved one’s perception of pain and lead to tense muscles and inflammation.

Pallor Reduction

Elderly people sometimes develop pale skin or sallowness as a result of ill health, medications, lack of exercise, poor diet, and anemia. If your loved one appears pale, he or she may be more apt to believe he or she is ill. When a healthy glow is restored, your loved one may not only look better, but feel better too.

Getting a daily dose of Vitamin D is just one of many aspects of senior care provided at Rosette Residential Senior Living to learn more contact us today!

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