If your senior parent or loved one who is receiving elderly care at home has been diagnosed with depression, you are probably already taking steps that their doctor advised for treatment of this common but sometimes debilitating ailment.
You may be experiencing feelings of helplessness and wondering if there are ways that you and your loved one’s caregivers can help in the meantime at home, so we have complied a list of a few elderly care-friendly ways that family members or caregivers can help your senior get socialization, companionship, and attention at home.
You know that peaceful feeling you get when you are surrounded with nature, in a forest or maybe just sitting in a beautiful garden in your own backyard? A study at Stanford shows us that it’s not just a warm and fuzzy feeling but that there is quantifiable evidence that walking in nature could lead to a lower risk of depression.
“This finding is exciting because it demonstrates the impact of nature experience on an aspect of emotion regulation – something that may help explain how nature makes us feel better,” said lead author Gregory Bratman, a graduate student in Stanford’s Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources.
Bratman also led a study that showed that time spent in nature was found to positively effect mood as well as aspects of cognitive function and working memory, and dampened effect on anxiety.
Music to their ears.
Music can mean different things to different people, and each of us are partial to different types. Since music has an ability to quickly alter one’s mood, it can be an effective tool when used as a complimentary treatment for conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Music therapy can decrease pain perception, reduce the amount of medication needed for pain, as well as help relieve depression in patients experiencing pain.
Your senior can listen to music or perform with musical instruments either alone or in a group, or with their caregivers at home.
For your loved one getting elderly care at home, social situations might not be a common occurrence for them. But evidence has shown that social support from family or friends decreases the likelihood of depression and that peer support can reduce symptoms from people already diagnosed with it. Let them visit with friends and encourage visits from family members that they may otherwise not be able to see.
Be animal friendly.
Studies have shown that pets can play a role in people managing long-term mental health issues by providing a sense of security and routine that allowed for better emotional and social support. Specifically, therapy animals and pets can help to alleviate anxiety, stress, and depression as well as feelings of loneliness which can be a symptom of depression itself.
Never try to diagnose someone with depression yourself. If you or your senior’s caregiver suspects that they may have depression, contact their doctor as soon as possible.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING ELDERLY CARE IN WESTERN SPRINGS, IL, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT BRIGHTSTAR CARE LA GRANGE. CALL TODAY: 708-551-2500.