5 Tips for Preventing Depression in the Elderly

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Depression can rob aging adults of getting the most out of the senior years. Social isolation, a painful event, or other issues can be a major cause of depression. The following five tips can prevent seniors from developing depression so they can enjoy living life to the fullest.

1. Grow Plants

A study done by researchers at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences stated that gardening can alleviate depression as well as reduce rumination, which is the tendency to think about unhappy things repeatedly. The study also found that something as simple as keeping flowers and plants in living quarters can greatly lower anxiety, promote relaxation, and lessen the chances of stress-associated depression.

2. Lead a Purposeful Life

Having a purpose in life can help aging adults ward off depression. They can volunteer at a soup kitchen, craft with their grandkids, or regularly visit a lonely neighbor. Finding a sense of purpose doesn’t have to require a lot of cash, energy, or time. All seniors need is a touch of kindness and a little motivation to make a difference that also benefits them emotionally.

3. Work Out

Older adults can exercise based on their physical fitness level, which their doctor can help them determine. They can try resistance training or join a senior exercise class, walking group, or gentle yoga class to boost their mood. A study performed by researchers at Duke University Medical Center stated that 30 minutes of working out three times a week could treat depression in aging adults better than traditional prescriptions.

Engaging in exercise is one of the best ways to boost energy levels and increase overall health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elder care. Centennial, CO, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

4. Participate in Social Events

It’s common for seniors to withdraw and avoid socializing, which can result in depression. Whether they regularly go to bingo or enjoy weekly family dinners, spending time with others is crucial for emotional wellbeing. Older adults can also find a variety of exciting activities like computer classes or knitting circles to take part in or social groups to join at the local senior center, library, or college.

For families living in Centennial, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

5. Treat Insomnia

It’s common for older adults to experience changes in sleep patterns as they age. They often go to bed and wake up earlier than usual, which results in fewer hours of deep sleep. Even though changes in sleep are a common part of the aging process, insomnia isn’t. Feeling tired during the day and waking up often throughout the night combined with any drastic life changes can lead to serious issues like depression. Seniors need to address their chronic sleep issues as soon as possible by first checking in with their doctor who can suggest treatment options that may include prescription sleep aids or cognitive behavioral therapy. In the meantime, they can try practicing good sleep habits to elevate their mood, which includes going to sleep and waking up in the morning at the same time and cutting out caffeine before bedtime.

Adopting healthier lifestyle choices can help older adults prevent depression. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Centennial home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call 303.957.3100 today.