Lingering depression in seniors isn’t a normal part of aging. Even so, clinical depression is considered common in older adults. In fact, the National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates later-life depression affects between 6–7 million adults 65 and older, but only 10 percent of seniors receive treatment for it. Here’s a closer look at why depression is a major issue among older adults and what you can do to help your senior loved one.
Unmanaged Chronic Conditions
Simply having heart disease, diabetes, or another chronic condition doesn’t automatically mean a senior will be depressed. However, some older adults do become depressed if a chronic illness or condition isn’t handled well. If this applies to your loved one, he or she may be able to address the issue with:
• Encouragement to commit to recommended lifestyle changes
• Support groups for seniors living with chronic health problems
• Supplemental treatments that may involve chiropractic care, meditation, or therapeutic yoga
In-home care 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.
Fewer Opportunities to Socialize
Seniors sometimes become depressed as opportunities to socialize decrease over time. This may happen because of issues with mobility or health or changes in regular routines. If your loved one is having concerns about a lack of sufficient socialization, look for ways to help him or her stay connected with others. Using social media and joining senior-specific groups are some options to suggest.
In seniors, an inability to fall or stay asleep may be a sign of depression. But new research suggests insomnia may also be a depression risk factor for older adults. If your loved one is having difficulty sleeping, talk to the doctor to see if medication could be an issue. Staying active during the day and maintaining a regular sleep schedule may also help seniors avoid serious issues with insomnia and depression.
Medication Side Effects
Even if insomnia isn’t an issue, medication side effects may contribute to depression in seniors. Be mindful of any unusual changes in behavior or mood that seem to be associated with your loved one’s medications. Seniors may also be less susceptible to this potential source of depression by exploring physical therapy and other nonmedicinal treatments whenever possible.
Difficulty Managing Loss
Statistically, older adults are more likely to face some type of loss at one time or another. That being said, it’s perfectly normal and healthy to be depressed or down when a special someone is lost at any age. However, it can become a problem if your loved one is unable to adjust in the months or years following a loss. Older adults having difficulty handling grief may benefit from therapy or grief counseling.
Compassionate home caregivers can provide empathetic companionship for aging adults who have lost loved ones. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving 24-hour care. Rhode Island Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Changes in Daily Living Routines
Aging adults may become depressed if daily living routines change or become more restrictive. For instance, your loved one may be increasingly down about needing more help with various tasks or have fears about needing to go to a nursing home. Issues of this nature may be addressed by discussing in-home care options, making appropriate home modifications, and using community-based services for seniors.
If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care service. Rhode Island Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. Call us today at (401) 284-0979 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.