Compassionate Home Care Helps Prevent and Relieve the Symptoms of Depression Among Seniors

less depression among seniors who are supported

Depression is a real risk among seniors

No matter what age we are, living a life of purpose, connection and joy are critical for our physical and mental wellbeing. Older adults face a variety of challenges including vision loss, social isolation, mobility problems and memory loss. Consequently, life can be more difficult to enjoy and there is a higher risk of depression among seniors.

Because poor mental health can have serious consequences on wellbeing and quality of life, it is something seniors should focus on improving. Did you know:

  • Socially isolated seniors have a 59% greater risk of mental and physical decline than those who do not experience social isolation (Forbes).
  • The health effects of social isolation and loneliness on seniors are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes per day (AARP.org).
  • Depression in the elderly is associated with an increased risk of cardiac diseases and the risk of death from illness (WebMD).

Higher risk for depression among seniors can be relieved by compassionate home care.

Identifying the signs of depression in seniors

Knowing the signs and symptoms of depression is important. Often, the person experiencing depression is unable or unwilling to tell their loved ones or caregivers. As a result, depression can go unnoticed and untreated for too long. Besides feeling sad or low, signs of depression in seniors may also include a change in attitude, self-isolation, weight loss, fatigue or lack of interest in once enjoyable activities. Therefore, if you notice these symptoms, you should encourage your loved one to seek support from their health care provider.

Preventing and relieving the symptoms of depression 

For older adults that want to improve their quality of life, focusing on their mental health is important. They can do this by finding joy and purpose in their lives. If an elderly person in your life needs a boost, you can suggest some of the following activities. Furthermore, you can help them participate or get to their chosen activities by going along with them or finding the support of a caregiver.

Exercise for a healthy body and mind.

Exercise has a positive effect on the brain. For example, being active decreases stress levels, relieves symptoms of depression, and improves mood. Something as simple as going for a walk can have wonderful benefits.

*Seniors should always consult with a physician before starting any physical activity or fitness program.

Fight depression and isolation by spending time with family and friends.

At any age, many people find joy in spending time with family and friends. Unfortunately, mobility and transportation issues can make it hard for seniors to get around.  This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.

The good news is that there are services that can help overcome these challenges. Many caregiver and companion services offer help with transportation and in-home care assistance. Seniors can also tap into technology that fosters connection. After all, it’s never too late to learn something new! Helping older adults get out in the community and build connections is something we are passionate about at Comfort Keepers Peterborough.

less depression among seniors who are supported

Volunteering brings a sense of purpose to seniors.

Seniors have a unique skill set and perspective that go unused once they have retired. Therefore, sharing time and talents doing volunteer work can bring a sense of purpose and fulfillment to their lives. Many organizations have programs and volunteer opportunities specifically geared to older adults. Here in Peterborough, there are many local services looking for volunteers including:

  • The Alzheimer’s Society Peterborough
  • Community Care
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • The Peterborough Humane Society

Comfort Keepers Peterborough can help connect you or the senior in your life to a meaningful volunteer position. Reach out to Alyssa directly by e-mail at alyssarowe@comfortkeepers.ca for more information on how you can give back in Peterborough!

Hobbies and social programs bring joy. 

Everyone has a different interest or hobby that brings them joy. Whether it’s music and art or dance and gardening, hobbies are wonderful for physical and mental health. Having a hobby or special interest increases your quality of life. Therefore, seniors should try to spend time doing something that brings them happiness every day.

We are blessed that in Peterborough there are so many recreation facilities and social groups available to older adults. Some popular choices are the local YMCA, local programs at Activity Haven or Mapleridge Recreation Centre, or simply getting outside on one of the many outdoor trails. There truly is something for everyone.

Comfort Keepers® Peterborough can help prevent depression among seniors and maintain their quality of life

For Alyssa Rowe, the owner of Comfort Keepers Peterborough, the goal is to provide uplifting in-home care that benefits seniors and their families. Together, she and her team create individualized care plans for clients in Peterborough and the surrounding area. Without fail, each plan considers the physical, emotional, and community goals of the client and their family.

Our Peterborough caregivers can provide transportation to community events, support physician-prescribed exercise regimens, provide companionship and help families stay connected through technology. The Comfort Keepers Peterborough office strives to elevate the human spirit through quality, compassionate, joyful care. Our team aims to offer the best in-home care services in Peterborough!

To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today.

 

References

Science Daily/McMaster University. “Working it Out: Researchers find exercise may help fight depression in seniors.” Web. 2019.

WebMD. “Depression in the Elderly.” Web.

Healthline. “Geriatric Depression (Depression in Older Adults).” Web.

Mental Health Commission of Canada.  “Seniors”. Web.

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