As a person gets older, they will experience a number of mental and physical health changes. Dealing with these changes is not always the easiest thing to do. As the relative or friend of a senior citizen, it should be your goal to improve the quality of their life. One of the main things you need to keep your eyes peeled for when caring for your aging loved one is signs of depression.
Over 6 million senior citizens deal with late-life depression. Feeling depressed can make the latter years of a person’s life joyless and stressful. This is why you need to do all you can to help your elderly loved one deal with isolation and depression. Read below for some tips on how to provide this help.
Help Your Aging Loved One Find a Sense of Purpose
Millions of Americans are provided a sense of purpose by their jobs or family. Raising children and working a full-time job can keep a person motivated and devoid of depression. However, when a person retires from their job or their children move away, they might lose their sense of purpose. Without a sense of purpose, a senior citizen might start to get depressed.
If you want to help your elderly loved one find a new sense of purpose, then you need to encourage them to take part in new hobbies or activities. Learning how to knit or grow a garden is a great way to keep senior citizens motivated and distracted. You may also want to encourage your older friend or family member to volunteer with local charities. This will allow them to help others and regain their sense of purpose.
Social Interactions Are Important
Feelings of isolation usually surface when a senior citizen lacks socialization. If a person spends all of their time alone, they will soon become depressed. This is why you need to relay the importance of social interactions to your aging loved one. Encouraging a senior citizen to visit friends and family members is a great way to remove feelings of isolation from their lives.
If your loved one has chosen to age in place, then hiring home care professionals is a good idea. Not only will these professionals help a senior citizen with things cooking and cleaning, they can also provide them with much-needed social interactions.
Encourage Physical Activity
Numerous medical studies have been performed that show the link between increased physical activity and a reduced risk of depression. This is why you need to work on keeping the senior citizen in your life physically active in order to keep them happy. Senior citizens that get up and go to the gym every day also have a renewed sense of purpose. A senior citizen will also be able to engage in social interactions while at the gym.
By using the tips in this article, you can help the senior citizen in your life avoid feeling depressed and isolated.