Depression Among Elderly: 4 Ways to Help

By , 9:00 am on

Depression is one of the most common problems of aging, with more than 7 million elderly people diagnosed and treated for depression each year. At Mississauga Home Care Assistance, we know that seeing a loved one experience depression is upsetting. Here are four simple ways to help your loved one.

1. Encourage Activity

Exercise is an effective means of combating depression, so find simple ways to get your loved one moving. Taking a brief walk together can improve mood, relieve stress, and stimulate the release of feel-good brain chemicals. Engaging in mental activity helps fight depression too, so drawing your loved one into conversation on your walk, doing a puzzle, or looking at photos together can provide a workout for the brain that will help fight his or her feelings of depression.

2. Monitor Symptoms

While crying and feeling sad are typically what people imagine depression looks like, most symptoms are less obvious. The standard depressive behaviors usually include moodiness, withdrawal, angry outbursts, lack of interest in favorite activities or socialization, and changes in eating or sleep patterns. If you notice your loved one has two or more of these symptoms, contact your loved one’s doctor for psychological screening.

3. Be patient and supportive

Depression can make your loved one challenging to be with. He or she may withdraw, refuse your help, or be excessively angry and agitated. In intense moments or during times where he or she withdraws, the best thing you or his or her Mississauga caregiver can do is stay calm and collected, and remind yourself that these bouts of unusual or aggressive behaviors are symptoms of the disease.

4. Learn More

Depression is a confusing, complex disorder that can disrupt many aspects of your loved one’s life. The better you understand it, the more successful you will be at helping your loved one manage his or her symptoms. Ask your loved one’s doctor for materials or scope out books about depression at your local library to learn more.

While there is no guaranteed cure, there are many routes of treatment that may help your senior loved one combat depression. At Home Care Assistance, all of our caregivers are trained in the Balanced Care Method, our innovative approach to senior health and wellness. BCM emphasizes daily activities like meditation, physical and cognitive exercise, and maintaining a sense of purpose, each of which can help relieve depression. To learn more about how our care services can help your loved one call a Care Manager at 702-550-3185.