Depression impacts a large percentage of the population of the United States. This disease can impact people of all ages, including older adults. Experts estimate that between 1 and 5 percent of the older adult population experiences depression symptoms each year. This percentage increases among the population requiring ongoing care for health challenges and other limitations. As a family caregiver, it is extremely important for you to take the proper steps to help your parent manage their depression effectively. This management helps to reduce the impact of the depression, protect your senior from serious consequences, and preserve their quality of life as they age in place.
Use these tips to help your senior manage their depression throughout their later years:
- Talk to them about it. Be open and honest with your parent, and let them know you’re concerned about them, and want to help them. Just knowing they aren’t alone can be tremendously beneficial.
- Remember not all depression is the same. When many people think of depression, the first thing they think of is being “sad”. While sadness is a hallmark characteristic of depression, it is by no means the only symptom, and actually does not occur in all cases of depression. Your parent may simply feel tired, overwhelmed, disinterested, or like they don’t feel like doing anything. This type of depression can be just as detrimental as one involving deep sadness, and should be managed as such.
- Keep them social. Elderly adults struggling with loneliness and isolation are at the highest risk for depression. Increasing their social interaction can help to reduce these feelings, and boost their mental and emotional health. You can help your parent enjoy more social interaction in a variety of ways, including starting elder care for them, and encouraging volunteer work.
- Stay in touch with them. Plan for regular interaction with your parent. Even if you are not able to be with them as often as you’d like, still find ways to stay in touch with them. Regular phone calls, video calls, emails, and even sending pictures through social media can make a major difference in how they feel.
- Show them their meaning. Many elderly adults struggle with the feeling of no longer being relevant or meaningful in the world around them. Take steps to show them how valuable they are, and how meaningful they can be. Encourage them to participate in volunteer opportunities, to contribute to charities such as by using a special skill, and supporting strong relationships with the different generations of your family.
Introducing elder care into your care routine with your aging parents can be one of the most beneficial choices you make as a family caregiver. Bringing an elderly home care services provider into your care routine is not just about managing your senior’s physical needs and challenges. Having this care provider as a part of their daily life can also be extremely beneficial for their mental and emotional well-being as well. If your senior has been struggling with depression, an elder care provider can be a source of companionship, mental and emotional support, stimulation, and entertainment that can help them to cope with this challenge. The customized care of a care provider can ease feelings of loneliness and isolation, encourage your parent to seek out fun and enjoyable activities and hobbies, and also help them to participate in activities that provide a greater meaning to their life, such as volunteer opportunities.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Crawfordville, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida