Do you have an elderly parent who suffers from depression?
Depression in the elderly population is more common than many people realize. In fact, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, depression affects more than6.5 million Americans that are ages 65 and older.
Luckily, if your loved one is suffering from depression, there are things you can do to combat it.
Check out this guide to discover the top creative ways to manage depression in seniors.
1. Encourage Social Interaction
Oftentimes, depression in seniors doesn’t stem from the mere fact of getting older. Instead, it stems from the increasingly isolated lifestyle that seniors tend to lead.
Once you retire, you lose the everyday interactions you previously had with co-workers. There’s also the chance that your family members are living far away, so you don’t have anyone to visit with.
If you fear that your loved one is feeling isolated, then it’s very important that you encourage social interaction, both with your family and with others.
Make sure to invite your parent over for dinner frequently, visit them as often as you can, and invite them to all family gatherings. You should also encourage them to attend community events, take part in group outings, and join social clubs for seniors.
Also, make sure they have a way of getting to and from the social events on their calendar.
2. Help Them Stay Physically Active
When it comes to combatting depression, physical activity can be a lifesaver.
Oftentimes, a senior citizen just needs a little extra push to stay physically active. If you live in the same area as your loved one, try to plan weekly meetups with them to go on walks, garden, or go swimming. Anything that can get them moving and get their heart rate up a bit is beneficial.
There are also many gyms and community centers that offer exercise classes geared towards seniors, so we suggest looking into those as well.
3. Make Significant Events Special
As we get older, significant events that we once celebrated with friends and family members tend to fall by the wayside.
If an elderly family member is alone on Christmas, their birthday, or another special day, it can be especially lonely and difficult for them. Try to make sure you’re there for your loved one on all major holidays and special days.
If you can’t be there, then remember to send a nice card and a gift, such as a bouquet of flowers from 1-800-Florals.
Depression in Seniors: Time to Help
Now that you’ve read this guide on depression in seniors, it’s time to put these tips into action. Of course, it’s also smart to have your loved one see a doctor about their depression if it’s getting serious, as medication may be the best option.
For more tips and tricks for helping out elderly parents, be sure to check back in with our blog.