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Posted on: 11.10.2021

As Dark Nights Roll In

As we enter autumn, darker nights begin and the cold starts to set in. We find our residents wanting bedroom windows closed earlier, or even altogether, and lights or lamps being used more and more. So how do these darker nights affect our residents? And how can we help to combat its effects?

Keeping Warm

As we get older we find that we start to feel colder much quicker. Meaning that as autumn has arrived we want to wrap up like it’s winter.
In the Lovett Care Homes, we try to maintain a constant comfortable level of warmth year-round so that our residents aren’t as affected by the change in temperatures.
Many of our residents, although the room is warm, love to keep their warmer jumpers and cardigans to hand. You can’t help but see this as a comfort thing rather than them being cold, some still do this in the summer too.

Keeping Out The Dark

Dark evenings have been proven to cause feelings of depression, this is scientifically due to the reduced levels of vitamin D that we usually receive from the sun. However, it has more of an impact on the elderly, particularly those who live alone as it can invoke feelings of anxiety and loneliness.
Here at Lovett Care, we try to ensure that all our care homes feel as bright as possible, without overpowering lights. This may include closing blinds and curtains earlier to avoid the dark skies. We may also add lamps into residents rooms to keep a level of light throughout the evening should they wish to be in their rooms.
While we may have no control over the sunlight we do have, we make the most of it. This includes encouraging the residents to venture into the gardens during the daylight for that all-important dose of vitamin D.

Evening Activities

During the darker evenings, we try to arrange activities to ensure that our residents aren’t noticing the nights drawing in. This can include getting them up and about, moving around. This stops them from feeling like it is time to head to bed earlier and earlier each day.
We have found that brainpower activities help the evenings to feel a little better as they get darker. This includes quizzes and spending time on our magic tables.

Change Of Diet

With the changes in light and temperature, we also look at changing some of the dishes that are on our menus. We try to increase the levels of vitamin D rich foods, such as oranges. And we add a range of autumnal treats and then even some winter warmers. Pumpkin pie anyone?

Mental Health Check

Darker nights can have an impact on the mental health of not only residents but also their families, our staff and just about everyone. Also commonly referred to as the summer blues. Our friendly team like to keep an eye on our residents for any signs that they might be struggling.
This includes spending more time alone, not engaging in activities and even not eating as much as usual.
At Lovett Care Homes, our staff are able to keep an eye out for any unusual changes in behaviour and address these as required. Whether this is with the resident themselves, the family, or indeed involving a clinician where required.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding how the dark nights effects the residents, and what we do to combat this, please get in touch with our team today. You can contact the Lovett Care main team, or the care homes individually should you wish.

As we get closer to the festive period, we will be starting to make plans for family and loved ones to visit and trips out of the home where possible. Please contact us if you wish to make plans with your loved ones.

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