Depression is a disease that strikes an alarmingly high percentage of elders. When you suspect your elderly loved one may be suffering from depression, they should seek professional attention immediately. There are other things you can do to help alleviate the symptoms of depression for your loved one.
- Help to encourage them with positive thinking. Think of a funny movie they might want to watch with you.
- Help them do something they love every day. Try to involve a variety of other people.
- Hobbies are great for fighting off loneliness and keeping busy. This could include needlework, woodworking, gardening etc.
- Eating a healthy diet goes a long way to fighting off depression. Poor diets have been shown to be a cause of depression, especially junk food or high protein diets. They should be eating mood enhancing foods such as plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise – sometimes touted as a great cure for depression, it also boosts confidence and releases endorphins which are the body’s natural feel-good hormones.
- Being thankful for the people and things in their lives. Invite some other family members to spend time with your elderly loved one to remind them of how much they appreciate their family members.
- Meditation is a good way to release stress in a person’s life. It can help find an inner peace within the person and help them think more clearly.
- Volunteering to help someone else gives a person a sense of worth and importance. Serving someone else gives a feeling of happiness and joy when you see the difference you made in their life.
- Joining a social group like a senior’s group, book reading club, craft club, swimming group, etc.
- An elderly home care provider can help as well. It is important to have companionship and encouragement from another human being. The caregiver can take your loved one to activities, keep them involved socially, make sure they are eating a healthy balanced diet and encourage them to participate in regular exercise.
Depression is difficult to get out of on your own, so make sure your loved one has the appropriate professional support as well. This may involve some kind of counseling or the doctor may prescribe a medication. Depression can be beat. Your loved one can recover from depression with the right kind of help.