Although depression is common among older adults, the disorder isn’t normal. There are steps elderly people can take to stave off depression and enhance their quality of life. However, they need to know more about what causes the condition. Take a look at a few reasons seniors develop depression and what can be done to prevent each issue.
1. Poor Brain Health
Certain areas of the brain are responsible for regulating mood. When the brain doesn’t function properly, the risk of depression can increase. Brain inflammation leads to damaged cells and other problems that interfere with neurotransmitters. Poor circulation can also prevent the brain from getting the oxygen it needs, which can cause depression and other severe health problems. Your senior loved one will need to stay mentally stimulated and make good lifestyle choices to boost his or her brain health.
Isolation is common among older adults, and it’s one of the top reasons they develop depression. During the retirement years, seniors have more free time, and unless it’s used constructively, they can become bored quickly. Instead of interacting with others in the community, seniors often stay isolated at home while their family members and friends are at work. Signing your loved one up for social groups is an excellent way to prevent boredom and reduce the risk of depression.
Seniors who are lonely can benefit from having compassionate professional caregivers to share their feelings with. 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. 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.
3. Poor Nutrition
Failing to eat nutritious meals can negatively impact mental health. Some seniors eat certain foods to handle stress. However, many “comfort foods,” particularly those high in carbohydrates and sugar, can cause blood pressure and anxiety levels to rise and lead to depression. Your parent should incorporate more fruits and vegetables into his or her diet and give up unhealthy items such as fast food, candies, and dairy products full of proteins like casein. These foods can boost inflammation and cause depression.
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 live-in 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.
4. Decreasing Skills
Aging causes many changes in older adults, including vision problems, reduced mobility, and memory loss. The physical and mental changes associated with aging can be a lot for seniors to bear, and they can increase anxiety and stress levels. You can help your loved one address a decrease in skills by developing an adequate care plan and finding activities he or she can do that will provide a sense of accomplishment.
Sedentary seniors are more prone to disorders like depression. Exercise can boost the production of endorphins that enhance mental health. If your loved one is inactive, these feel-good hormones could decrease, and his or her anxiety levels could increase. When creating an activity list for your parent, it should include exercises and activities that involve physical movement, such as dancing, doing water aerobics, or walking through the neighborhood. In some instances, the exercises may need to be customized due to your loved one’s physical limitations.
In Rhode Island, elder 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. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (401) 284-0979.