How to Help Seniors Beat Depression

Many people of senior age suffer from depression or emotional distress. According to the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, depression is a leading cause in a lower quality of life experienced by senior citizens. If you have questions or concerns and would like to improve home life for your loved one, contact The Nurses Guild. They may be able to help in the five areas affected seniors struggle the most. These areas include disability, demands on caregivers, a decline in general, diminished sense of quality of life, and dementia. There are steps that you can take to beat the causes of depression and help senior citizens have a happier perspective on life.

Read the 5 tips below:

1. Explain that depression and illness are separate issues and be sure to have both treated.

Because seniors experience more illnesses in relation to their younger counterparts, this can have an effect on the brain and brain chemistry. These illnesses include cancer, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and others. Be sure that both issues concerning the physical illness and depression are being treated or managed at the same time.

2. Stop drinking alcohol.

Substance abuse is very common among individuals over 60 years old. Sometimes seniors will try to medicate themselves with the use of alcohol or drugs. This may be a way of trying to cope. Unfortunately, alcohol may exacerbate feelings of depression. Drugs can also have the same effects and have damaging results when combined with alcohol. It is important to address this problem and deal with it accordingly.

3. Start an exercise program.

Exercise for seniors is vitally important for overall health and stability. This can help prevent falls and a weak heart, and help alleviate arthritis. Exercise will aid in achieving strength, balance, and muscle tone. It will also help to release endorphins in the body giving the senior a positive feeling of well-being.

4. Treat grief and insomnia.

If dealing with recent grief, symptoms such as irritability, sadness, anger, and guilt may be magnified. This usually gets better with time. If a senior citizen is not getting enough sleep, there may be a case of insomnia that needs to be treated. Without proper rest, symptoms will become much worse.

5. Get Social.

When approaching the senior-aged population, it is not the time to become isolated. It is a great time to become social and make friends with others who have similar interests around you. It may be beneficial to get out and volunteer, join a club, or maybe even go bowling. Being surrounded by other individuals fosters a healthy perspective on life and keeps you active. Also, use the internet. Meet new people, research topics of interest, or use YouTube to learn how to do something new. You can also use the internet to stay in contact with friends and family through social networking.