Depression affects people of all ages and does not care whether you are 18 or 80. However, many do not realize how many seniors struggle with depression. Unfortunately, signs of elderly depression are frequently attributed to other conditions such as dementia. Furthermore, the isolation that comes with aging often means that not as many people are around to notice a change in their mental condition. Also, many of that generation tend to be stoic about their feelings. As a result, elderly depression goes undiagnosed in Staten Island.
Here are some things the elderly can do to stave off depression before it has a chance to take hold:
Make sure to maintain relationships within the family and in the community at large. Volunteering is a great way to get yourself up and out of the house. You can play to your strengths and volunteer in a capacity similar to when you were working. Or, join a hobby circle. Both are great ways to meet like-minded people.
Find New Purpose
Don’t focus on what you can’t do at this point in your life; focus on what you CAN DO! Keep your mind active and alert by adding to your repertoire of skills and knowledge in the myriad of adult learning opportunities available today.
Adopt Healthy Habits
Don’t underestimate what a dietary change and the addition of an exercise routine can do for both your mind and body. Small changes can do a long way. Add more protein and cut out some sugar and you will see a change in mood and energy. Also, a few minutes of weight bearing exercise each day does a lot to build up stamina. Of course, a good night’s rest is magical. Adding some magnesium in a supplement orally or topically can do the trick.
Turning for Help
When you feel you just cannot cope, do not hesitate to turn to a professional for guidance. There are so many social workers and programs with specially trained staff to deal with the elderly demographic. And, they are usually available at subsidized reasonable rates.
If you believe a senior you know is suffering from depression, you can help. Here’s how:
Start a Conversation
First, get your loved one to open up. Avoid words like “depressed,” “anxious,” or “mental health” if possible. These trigger words might cause them to become upset and shut you out. Begin by starting a conversation. Ask about their day, whether anything has been on their mind, or if anything is making them sad. Hopefully, you will gather information that highlights a potential problem. From here, you can breach the subject of getting help.
Getting Professional Help
Most seniors do not seek treatment for their depression. It is your job to convince your loved one to find professional help. However, do not immediately suggest therapy, as many elderly individuals may feel shame or guilt about their condition.
It may be easiest for them to consult a friend who has been through a similar experience. Many elderly individuals may also feel more comfortable talking about their depression to their primary care physician rather than a mental health professional.
Call David York Agency for Help
Follow our blog for more advice on how you can help an elderly loved one cope with depression, as well as information about the signs that can indicate elderly depression. Keep this in mind; elderly depression is often a result of loneliness and isolation, so call us to arrange unparalleled care and companionship.
David York Agency Homecare Helps Seniors in Staten Island
At David York Agency, we understand the many challenges and risks faced by the aging and elderly. We are dedicated to providing care to support them through all of those ups and down. At David York Home Healthcare Agency, extraordinary service is what sets us apart from other companies in Staten Island that provide in home healthcare services.
DYA we could provide direction as to how to manage the total care of your senior loved one. Whatever your care needs, we are there for you, always striving to exceed your expectations. For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at (718) 376-7755. A free phone consultation can help you determine what services would meet your needs. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.