As a person ages, they may experience life events that put them at risk for depression. The loss of a loved one, health issues or social isolation can all make it harder for a person to maintain their emotional well-being. Often, the symptoms of depression are more difficult to recognize in older adults, and they are easily mistaken for being a normal part of the aging process. Fortunately, you can help your loved one by implementing the following tips for preventing depression in senior adults.
Take Care of Their Physical Needs
Symptoms of depression can often arise when a person’s physical health is declining. Make sure your senior loved one eats regular nutritious meals and gets enough sleep. If necessary, arrange for a professional caregiver to tend to a senior’s physical needs such as by preparing meals or helping with medication management. Regular exercise that is tailored to a senior’s physical capabilities is another effective way to prevent depression.
Provide Opportunities to Socialize
Spending time with family and friends is critical for a person’s emotional well-being. Seniors should have the opportunity to connect with others daily whether it is with a caregiver or during a planned outing. When a senior has the opportunity to laugh and communicate with those they love, then they will be more capable of overcoming the depression that may accompany loss and illness such as dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Regular social interaction will also ensure that early signs of depression are detected so that a senior adult receives the appropriate treatment.
Encourage a Sense of Purpose
As a person advances in age, they may lose parts of their self-identity. After retirement, many people fall into depression when they feel as if they no longer have a purpose in life. However, you can help your senior loved one renew their sense of purpose by assisting them with finding activities they enjoy. From volunteering to recording their life story, there are many ways that a senior adult can get involved in their families and communities.
Understanding when a senior adult may be vulnerable to depression is important for helping them to maintain a positive outlook on life. Often, preventing depression is as simple as tending to a person’s physical and emotional needs before feelings of sadness have a chance to take hold. By recognizing the early signs of depression and implementing measures that keep depression at bay, senior adults can enjoy living a life full of joy throughout their golden years.
Still unsure of how to help an aging loved one cope with new life changes? Visit our website at www.homecareassistancevancouver.ca for information on caregiving or reach out to a Case Manager at 778-279-3634 and learn about our hourly or live-in care plans. Our loving companions can be caregivers to your aging loved ones, while providing the support needed to continue living happy and healthy from the comfort of home.