How to Combat Depression in Elders
Depression affects people of all ages, and it is not a normal part of the aging process. It is acceptable for seniors to experience melancholy or loss as a result of changes in their health or the death of a loved one, but this should not be a continuous mood that significantly impairs their quality of life. Depression is a treatable medical condition.
Prolonged feelings of melancholy or hopelessness are one of the most noticeable symptoms of depression, but seniors can also suffer a variety of other symptoms. Some people may be unaware that these are linked to depression. Here are its foremost symptoms:
- Loss of interest in previously liked activities
- Sleep changes – insomnia or increased fatigue
- Appetite changes
- Aches and pains that are not caused by another medical condition
- Concentration issues
Talk to your doctor if you see any changes in your overall well-being or anything out of the norm for you. Being upfront and honest can assist seniors in receiving the assistance they require feeling better and making the most of each day.
Taking Steps to Prevent Depression
Seniors can enhance their quality of life by being proactive about their mental health. Loneliness and isolation are two important variables that can lead to depression, particularly among seniors who are aging in place. Here are some suggestions for strengthening bonds and improving mood:
- Pursue hobbies- Investigate various activities and groups, either alone or through a community group. Participating in a reading club, taking an art class, playing golf, or learning to play the piano can all be cognitively stimulating activities. Seniors might spend their leisure time doing things they like or learning new things.
- Get involved in the community- Volunteering allows you to mingle and keep connected while also making a difference. A few hours spent assisting at the library, volunteering at an animal shelter, tutoring youngsters, arranging a special event, or greeting people at a local hospital or company may be quite fulfilling. It enables seniors to remain active in activities that are meaningful to them while also meeting new people.
- Stay active- Exercise is critical for good mental health. Endorphins are released during physical exercise, which improves mood, and remaining active can help relieve stress and anxiety. Exercise regularly can also increase mobility, balance, flexibility, and coordination, all of which can improve general health and happiness.
- Spend time with family and friends- Make regular phone calls or visits to loved ones. Video conferencing could be an excellent method to see those who are too far away to meet in person. Once a week, have lunch with a buddy and try a different restaurant or food. Maintaining ties can help to alleviate feelings of loneliness or isolation while also fostering a strong sense of community.
- Find a sense of purpose- Seniors should look for something that makes them happy and inspires them to get out of bed every day. It is something significant to them and provides them with a feeling of purpose, whether it is caring for a pet, spending time with grandkids, traveling, or crocheting blankets for those in need.
There are many ups and downs in life, but there are methods of weathering these changes and retaining a high quality of life.
Depression is not something that elders should have to deal with on their own. Working with a non-medical in-home caregiver may provide elders with company, help them stay involved in activities they like, support them with household responsibilities, and much more.
Call (925) 210-0323 to book a care consultation with Always Best Care (East Bay).