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More to cope with in the dark days ahead

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

I think many of us suffer to some degree from what is sometimes called Seasonal Affective Disorder. As we see less sunshine as the days get greyer and shorter we are often less happy with ourselves and with life in general.

As to whether this is because of reduced levels of serotonin or simply a psychological seasonal cycle I am not going to offer an opinion but whatever is causality, the condition is a real thing, and it should be a source of real worry to everyone involved in social care.

The short, dark days will make residents, home care recipients and care workers alike more vulnerable to depression. Add to this the stress and lack of social interaction engendered by the Covid-19 pandemic and we could well see a rise in mortality (not necessarily directly from Covid-19) among older vulnerable people and an exacerbation of the mental stress already affecting many thousands of care workers.

Indeed, this latter aspect has been recognised by the Care Workers Charity which is creating a mental health grant scheme to support care workers who are finding their burden is simply becoming too great. The charity says it is launching the initiative because care workers are finding it increasingly difficult to cope in an occupation which is poorly-paid, where they often feel under-valued, and with the extra pressures resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, including feelings of inadequacy and guilt about residents’ deaths.

Add to this the reality of the winter blues and the Care Workers Charity’s initiative could not be more timely.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

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