Depression occurs at every stage in life, and it may be caused by physical or mental factors. Seniors often experience events that place them at a higher risk for developing depression. For instance, a senior who begins to feel sad beyond the usual grieving period after a loss may be moving into true depression. You can help your aging loved one avoid developing depression by using these strategies that boost overall health and mood.
1. Help Them Connect with Family and Friends
Social ties help seniors feel supported. However, it becomes more challenging to maintain connections when someone is sick or otherwise unable to get out of the house often. Show your loved one other ways to connect with friends. You can set your loved one up with social media or teach him or her how to make a video phone call. Your loved one will feel an instant mood lift when reaching out to someone he or she loves.
Socializing can become more challenging in the golden years, especially for aging adults who are living with serious health issues. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Palm Beach families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
2. Provide a Sense of Purpose
Seniors are also more prone to depression when they don’t feel important to anyone. Help your loved one find a way to contribute to the community. He or she can write letters to soldiers, tutor a young student, or even give animal shelter pets a bath. Doing something for others can help your loved one take the focus off of his or her problems.
3. Watch for Early Signs of Depression
Depression that’s caught early can be treated before it has a significant impact. Look for signs your loved one is having a problem, such as being overly fatigued or moody. Seniors with early depression may pick at their food or overeat. Seeing these signs is a good indicator you need to have your loved one talk to the doctor to find out what treatments could prevent a worse case of depression.
4. Get Them Out of the House
If you’ve ever spent more than a few days stuck inside, you know cabin fever is real. Seniors who become isolated are more likely to experience the symptoms of depression. Arrange for a caregiver to drive your loved one to local places he or she enjoys, such as restaurants and theaters. The caregiver can also take your loved one outside for a walk.
For families living in Palm Beach, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
5. Limit Exposure to Negative News
Your loved one may enjoy staying on top of what’s happening in the world. However, many news forecasts are full of doom and gloom that can make it seem like nothing ever goes right. Suggest limiting the news watching to short periods throughout the day, and let your loved one know there’s nothing wrong with choosing to watch only highlights of positive news events that happen each day.
6. Encourage Regular Exercise
Exercise does several things to alleviate depression. During exercise, the body releases endorphins that boost mood. Getting the blood flowing to the brain can also enhance a person’s emotional responses. Make sure your loved one gets at least 30 minutes of exercise each day to boost his or her emotional wellbeing.
It’s important to prevent depression and other mental health issues in older adults. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To schedule a free in-home consultation with one of our Care Managers, call (561) 429-8292 today.