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How Can Seniors Avoid Depression?

By Patricia Schumacher, 9:00 am on

Although depression is common in older adults, it’s not simply a normal part of the aging process. Failing to prevent depression could increase the risk of heart disease, arthritis, obesity, and other conditions that impact quality of life. With a proper care plan, understanding, and a little research, you can enhance your aging loved one’s mood, boost his or her confidence, and help him or her stave off depression. Continue reading to learn what you can do to help your parent prevent depression in the senior years.

Promote Socialization

One of the best ways for seniors to stave off depression is to interact with other people. Socialization can alleviate boredom and prevent loneliness, which are two issues linked to depression in the elderly. Find out what your parent loves to do and create a list of activities based on these preferences. The social interaction could boost his or her mental and emotional health.

For families living in Rhode Island, 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.

Encourage Physical Activity

When seniors work out, their bodies produce endorphins, which combat stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. As a result, the odds of depression decrease. Your parent’s exercise routine should be challenging yet enjoyable. The more fun your loved one has while working out, the less frustrated and depressed he or she will become. Find enjoyable ways for your loved one to move around and work out his or her muscles, such as dancing, joining a water aerobics class, or signing up for a senior-friendly sports league.

If you usually help your loved one exercise but you need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. Rhode Island 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.

Promote Independence

Losing cognitive and mobility skills could overwhelm your loved one and increase the risk of chronic stress. A good caregiver understands when to offer assistance but doesn’t overstep. As long as you’re there to prevent your loved one from harming him or herself or others, you’re doing your job. However, completing every task for your parent can do more damage and raise the odds of depression. Your loved one may give up instead of taking on more challenges that can boost his or her quality of life.

Discuss the Future

Fearing the unknown could lead to depression. Talk about the future with your parent, and include discussions about in-home care and end-of-life treatment. Having these talks could provide your loved one with peace of mind, especially when he or she is able to voice opinions and know those wishes will be honored. Learning more about age-related illnesses, including treatment options and management techniques, can make the conditions seem more manageable.

Encourage Purposeful Activities

Decreasing health doesn’t take away the need to lead a purposeful life, and your loved one may need it even more. You can reduce your parent’s risk of depression by promoting meaningful tasks and hobbies that keep him or her busy. Completing these activities could provide a sense of accomplishment. For instance, if your loved one is unable to clean the home, suggest some less complicated tasks to work on, such as wiping down tables, folding laundry, or picking out cleaning supplies.

Homecare agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (401) 284-0979 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.