Depression can happen to anyone regardless of age, but the elderly can be more prone to experiencing depression. Depression in retired adults is often overlooked due to isolation and lack of knowledge. Continue reading to learn more about depression in the elderly and how to help your loved one manage it so they can live healthier and happier.
Signs of Depression
Your parents might face depression due to loneliness, lack of a sense of purpose, health problems, fear, and loss of loved ones. Before we start, let’s take a look at some of the signs of depression:
- Thoughts of suicide and death
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Feelings of sadness or despair
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
- Lack of self-worth
- Loss of appetite or weight loss
- Lack of energy or motivation
- Lack of personal care (such as hygiene)
- Lack of interest in hobbies or socializing
- Slowed speech or movement
- Sleep disturbances (such as insomnia, oversleeping, etc)
- Increase alcohol consumption
- Memory problems
Does your loved one experience some of these symptoms? If so, you need to help them to manage it so they can feel better and live better.
Get Professional Help
Sometimes, your loved one might experience symptoms of depression due to medical problems and medications. A professional will be able to diagnose your loved one and help with their medication by reducing the dosage or switching to an alternative medication.
In addition, dementia is also often confused with depression. A doctor will be able to help your loved one by treating or improving their condition. This can involve antidepressants and therapy.
Build A Support Network
Having a support network is incredibly important for improving depression. To help your loved ones, make sure to make an effort to visit them and connect with them so they’re less lonely. Regular social activities, especially things that your loved one used to enjoy, will help them to stay active physically and mentally. You can set up weekly lunch dates and encourage your loved one to join support groups or community clubs based on their interests. In addition, getting your loved one a pet, such as a pet dog, can also provide your loved one with company and encourage them to get more exercise.
Adopt Healthy Habits
Having an active lifestyle and eating well will do wonders for depression. For a healthy meal, make sure your loved one is eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins. Refined carbs and sugar should be avoided. Getting some sun will also help with boosting mood. Since exercise can be incredibly effective for depression, encourage your loved one to stay active, such as by taking walks in the garden. There are many safe exercises for your loved one to enjoy, even if they’re in a wheelchair.
A Supportive Retirement Community at Blue Ridge
At Blue Ridge retirement community, we provide comfortable living environments, well-designed amenities, healthcare support, health and wellness programs, and a calendar full of fun activities and events! Residents who live with us will be able to make new friends with like-minded neighbors and participate in a wide variety of games, hobbies, and parties. Our senior living options will be a great fit for your loved ones.