Despite the common belief that the elderly lead stress-free lives, many seniors experience depression, loneliness, and isolation. If you’re concerned that your aging loved one may become depressed, taking proactive steps can help him or her prevent these negative feelings. Presented by the Summit senior home care experts at Home Care Assistance, the following are preventative measures you can take to help your loved one avoid depression.
1. Support Feelings of Purpose
One of the main causes of depression among seniors is feeling aimless. To help your loved one maintain his or her feelings of purpose, encourage him or her to engage in activities that can make a difference in the lives of friends, family, or community members. Whether your loved one would like to volunteer or care for a neighbor’s pet, by focusing on helping others, your loved one can develop and maintain a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
2. Promote Learning
Staying mentally engaged is an important part of avoiding feelings of depression. One way to help your loved one stay mentally stimulated is by encouraging him or her to try learning new things. Many senior centers and colleges offer classes designed for older adults, providing your loved one with a source of mental stimulation, an opportunity to gain new skills, and a way to build a sense of confidence and independence.
3. Encourage Socialization
Maintaining meaningful social ties is key for seniors’ emotional and mental wellbeing. Finding places to socialize and build relationships is especially important for seniors who live alone. Participating in clubs, weekly meet-up groups, and senior events can all offer ways for your loved one to forge new friendships. Likewise, hiring a Summit hourly caregiver can provide your loved one with the opportunity to develop a meaningful relationship while also combating the feelings of isolation and loneliness that trigger depression.
4. Suggest Regular Exercise
Physical activity improves overall senior health and can elevate mood. For best results, encourage your loved one to get some form of exercise every day. While strenuous physical exertion may be out of the question for some seniors, going on short walks or easy bike rides can also provide a mood boost and health benefits. If your loved one hasn’t exercised in awhile, begin by going on daily walks around the block together before extending the time and distance of your outings.
5. Help Develop Healthy Habits
Make sure your senior loved one maintains a healthy lifestyle. Since poor diet and sleep diminish emotional wellbeing and contribute to health problems, it’s critical to promote healthy eating and sleep habits. Encouraging your loved one to make small lifestyle changes, like eating and going to bed at the same time every day, can make a huge difference in his or her mood.
For seniors who live alone, eating right and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule can be difficult. Help your elderly loved one adopt healthy lifestyle habits by hiring Home Care Assistance. Our high-caliber senior care services are designed to promote senior health and wellness. In addition, we offer in-home care for seniors with a variety of physical and cognitive challenges, including Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s care in Summit. To learn more about our care services, give a Care Manager a call at 908.450.9400 and schedule a free no-obligation consultation.