Most seniors go through major life changes, and that could make them a lot more vulnerable to loneliness and depression. It could be very heartbreaking to stand by and watch these seniors deal with loneliness and depression on their own.
If you have a senior family member, aside from a good idea that you want to hire a caregiver, there are definitely many other ways that you could do to help them as they struggle in isolation.
Here are some of the ways to help these elderlies to cope with symptoms and eventually improve the quality of their lives:
Deal with sleeping problems
Most seniors living alone are indeed prone to sleeping problems that could aggravate loneliness and depression. In order to avoid so, make sure that older adults keep a regular sleep schedule and don’t take daytime naps.
If they suffer from a sleep disorder, let them engage in certain activities, or consider a necessary medication instead.
Promote social interaction
Do not let these seniors deal with their own depression; rather, encourage them to at least visit their other family members and friends, or take part in group outings and other community events. An active social life improves mental, physical, and emotional health, and these are all important for a senior who struggles with isolation, loneliness, and depression.
Make sure they are physically active
Physical activities could indeed be a lifesaver for seniors. Some gentle exercises like stair climbing, walking, and appropriate workouts for them could help them stay in solid shape, emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Allow them to do a chore
It would be great if you will entrust these seniors with a meaningful responsibility. Negative thinking happens for those seniors who are living alone. Having a pet or caring for a plant can be of great help.
Make sure that they eat healthy
It would be a lot easier to deal with an aging person’s depression if you are well-aware of the foods to serve them. They must have fiber-rich food like vegetables and fruits and lean protein and whole grains for seniors. You should serve lightly cooked vegetables and, as much as possible avoid starch, sugar, and unhealthy fats.
Let them feel they are loved
Of course, love can make the world go around and help keep the seniors’ loneliness and depression under control. You have to show them that you need and love them. Simply listen and hug them most of the time.
These love expressions are a lot more important for those widowed seniors who need more affection and support to deal with their grief.
Keep an eye on the pills
If a family member is taking antidepressants, make sure that they take such medications regularly and follow doctors’ orders in terms of dosage, diet, and lifestyle. You might also need to help manage the medication. You should remind them to take the pills on a daily dose and watch out the medicine cabinets if there are signs of skipped or abused doses.
Consider professional help
Once depression gets worse, you’ll notice some signs like behavioral changes and a decrease in appetite. You must already contact a mental health professional and consider counseling once you suspect the disorder is getting uncontrolled.
A therapist may as well recommend antidepressants, or in less serious cases, occupational therapy or aromatherapy might be better options.
There you have it! Those are just some of the best ways that you can do to help seniors who are struggling in isolation. Though you can always grab some help from professionals or home care, still caring from a family member matters a lot!
Senior isolation is somewhat an inevitable thing that could happen to everyone who reaches such age. And if you are in a family with a senior member, you should know what to do to help them with their struggles in terms of isolation, loneliness, and depression. Show them that you are always there for them, like how many home care or elderly care institutions do to them.
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