Dealing with Elderly Depression – It’s harder to perceive if your family member really is depressed. It’s not hard to learn a lot about depression. There are websites, books, magazine and newspaper articles, and of course, many doctors. Look it up and determine what type of depression your family member has or may have. When you look at the symptoms, various medications and other treatments you have. The more you know, the easier it is to help.
Elderly depression can double the risk of cardiac disease and increase the risk of developing other serious health conditions. In thinks about where nursing home patients with physical diseases were analyzed, the advent of depression significantly increased the chance of death from those illnesses.
In addition, non-depressed elders are more likely to recover from a heart attack, while depressed seniors have a greater chance of dying after a cardiac incident.
8 Ways to Help Seniors Deal with Depression
Keep them physically active –
Physical activity can be a lifesaver for aging persons. Delicate activities such as walking, stair climbing, and age-suitable workouts can help a senior stay in solid physical, mental, and emotional shape.
Urge the depressed patient to agree to accept a group exercise class like yoga or tai chi – they might even make friends with like-minded peers.
Most studies show that only half of the people treated with medicine get better, many respond well to medication. Depression isn’t something that goes away by itself after a while. It is a serious mental illness.
When you trying to talk to them about how they are feeling, try to avoid using words that might make them defensive. If you are trying to force a person into seeing a doctor or therapist can have the opposite effect. You’re better off taking things slowly.
Try engaging in calm conversation. Find out what they might be worried about or what might have changed in their life recently. Gather information which you can then use to highlight and clarify why it might be a good idea for them to get help.
Don’t take over a person’s life –
When you doing things for a depressed person is frequently not helpful at all, because it reinforces their perception that they are worthless and incapable. Rather, help your elderly relative break tasks into steps and praise them for any efforts.
It is essential to attempt to find a balance between helping them and having them help themselves. Together it can be useful to break down tasks into smaller activities.
By doing smaller tasks, they are less likely to get tired and avoid doing what they need to. Doing less each day can mean doing more over the week.
Be patient –
Depression is heavy, slow-moving and unpredictable, it can frustrate and even anger those who are trying to help. Keep in mind that depression is a complex disease, and try to understand that the depressed person is not herself or himself right now.
If you’re relative doesn’t seem to appreciate your efforts, or is pushing you away, don’t walk off in a temper. Give them space or give them comfort if they need it, and be there for them, no matter how much they believe you don’t need to be.
With most treatment methods, if you add psychotherapy, will get the best results. Most people get medication only, but the best treatment is combined with psychotherapy. Stay active and do things that didn’t depend on others.
Support quality sleep –
Many older adults struggle with sleep problems, particularly insomnia. But lack of sleep makes depression worse. Aim for somewhere between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. You can enable to help yourself get better quality sleep by avoiding alcohol and caffeine, keeping a regular sleep-wake schedule, and making sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool.
Take care of a pet –
A pet can provide great companionship for the elderly. When an elderly person you care about is depressed, you can make a difference by offering emotional support. Listen to your loved one with patience and compassion. You don’t have to attempt to “fix” someone’s depression; simply being there to listen is enough.
Don’t criticize feelings expressed, but point out realities and offer hope. You can also help by observing that your elder gets an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. Help your elder find a specialist doctor, accompany them to appointments, and offer moral support.