How to Help Older Adults Stave Off Depression

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Helping Elderly People Prevent Depression in Newcastle, NSW

When taking care of an ageing loved one, most carers focus on the senior’s physical health. However, it’s also important to focus on emotional wellbeing. Due to shifting brain chemistry, decreased independence, and other factors, seniors have a high risk of experiencing depression. Here are a few ways you can help your elderly parent stave off depression.

Spend Time Together

Interacting with family members can be a huge help in preventing depression. Humans are social by nature, and spending time with loved ones decreases levels of cortisol and other stress hormones in the brain. Spending time with you may help your loved one feel relaxed and safe. 

For families living in Newcastle, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their ageing loved ones need companionship and socialisation 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.

Visit a Psychologist

Seniors who are going through difficult times may benefit from therapy. A psychologist can help your loved one eliminate destructive thoughts, reduce anxiety, and manage stress. Psychologists can also notice the early warning signs of depression.

Talk to the Doctor About Medication

If your loved one has already experienced depression before, medical intervention may be necessary. Regular antidepressants may be able to prevent your loved one from relapsing and having another major depressive episode. Antidepressants are always prescription medications, so you’ll need to speak with a doctor about obtaining them for your loved one.

Enhance the Quality of Sleep

One of the major risk factors for developing depression is insomnia because a lack of sleep greatly impairs brain function. Insomnia is particularly concerning for seniors because they tend to sleep more lightly and wake up more often than young adults. You can enhance your loved one’s sleep quality by making sure the room is dark and quiet while he or she sleeps. Encourage your loved one to avoid caffeine or screen time before bed. 

Older adults can enhance their quality of sleep by making healthy lifestyle choices. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional care worker. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance Newcastle to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home workers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Promote Outdoor Activities

Research indicates that humans who spend more time outdoors have a lower risk of depression. Doctors aren’t quite sure if this is due to increased light levels, boosted vitamin D production, or just the relaxing effect of spending time outside. If your loved one cannot easily go outside independently, you can help by wheeling him or her around outdoors or moving the bed next to an open window.

Encourage Exercise

When exercising, the body produces a lot of endorphins that provide a calm and happy feeling. It can be challenging for seniors with mobility issues to get enough exercise, but anything that gets the heart rate pumping and the muscles moving is good. Your loved one should try gentle physical activities like swimming, walking, yoga, or weightlifting.

Depression is just one of the many age-related conditions older adults are susceptible to. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home care workers who provide high-quality home care. Newcastle families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (02) 4089 3000 today.

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