How to Care for a Loved One with Depression

As we get older, many of us lose sight of the importance of mental health and maintaining a positive attitude on a day-to-day basis. As a result, the number of elderly individuals dealing with depression often increases.  It is very important that these individuals have a support system in place to help them to deal with their depression and also ensure that they are able to take the proper steps to improve the environment around them. Often, exercise, time with friends and family and a good healthy diet can help reduce some of the depression related feelings.

Although depression is common in elderly individuals, they may be unable to recognize the signs or may be unwilling to admit that they are suffering from depression. There are many issues that could cause an individual to become depressed in their elderly years, but it is important to take note of the differences between having a down day, and going through ongoing depression, which could be a sign of other issues.

One of the more common reasons why elderly individuals experience depression can stem from loneliness. For individuals that become lonely, it is even more important for family members to stay in constant contact with them, not only to check on their well-being but to help to ease the feelings of loneliness.  One way caregivers and family members can help is to make plans with individuals that are suffering from depression, helping to give them something to look forward to throughout the week.

In elderly individuals, depression can also stem from a loss of independence. Injuries, medical concerns, and a loss of strength can make it more difficult for them to continue to do the same tasks that they have done throughout their entire lives.  It’s easy to see how these factors can lead to a sense of despair and frustration. Consulting a doctor is important to determine whether medication is needed or needs to be changed, and simply to ensure your loved one is in the best possible physical and emotional state.

Providing a support system to provide peace of mind and add a measure of safety can also alleviate some of the worries that lead to depression.  One option to consider is a medical alert system.  The person using the system wears a bracelet or pendant that includes an emergency help button. In the event of a fall or health issue, pushing the button will alert the emergency care center providing access to medical personnel or a call to a neighbor.  This ensures that your loved one gets the help that they need, as quickly as possible. Not only does this serve as a huge benefit to them, but it also allows family members to have peace of mind, knowing that their loved ones will always be able to get to the phone and call for help during emergencies. Elderly individuals with depression are much more likely to suffer a fall, and the medical alert button is the perfect tool to help provide a safe environment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *