Negative emotions affect all of us. Feeling sad, in particular, can sometimes be the precursor to developing depression. Depression can happen at any time in our lives, but older folks tend to encounter life events that make it more likely for them to develop depression. Experiencing a loss and the ensuing grief could exacerbate a slide into depression. We want to help our loved ones avoid depression in older adults as much as possible, and these tips might help with that.
Social Support System
Keeping the older folks in our lives connected with their family members and friends is a very important part of preventing depression. It might be hard for older folks to maintain these relationships if they’re immobile, stuck at home or sick. Reach out to their loved ones through social media or even a video phone call, and it’s sure to brighten up their day. For older adults who are less tech-savvy, go back to the old days of letter writing. A simple letter will show your loved ones that you care and support them in their day to day lives.
As they grow older and retire, your loved ones may begin to feel insignificant, or unimportant to the people around them. Help them connect with the community and find a way for them to give back. Doing their part to help out will foster a greater sense of self-worth for these older adults. It can be as simple as taking care of animals at a shelter, tutoring younger kids, baby-sitting, or even picking up a new hobby or activity of interest.
Keep a Lookout
Early detection of depression makes it more treatable, and less likely to have a huge adverse impact. Therefore, it will be useful for you to look out for signs of early depression, such as overly tired or withdrawn moods. They may experience reduced or increased appetite too. Once you spot these signs, you should get your loved one to speak with a doctor or professional in order to begin treatment or intervention.
Prevent Cabin Fever
Those stuck in the house can get isolated and depressed. You can get your loved one’s caregiver to bring them out for a stroll to get some much-needed fresh air. Older folk will also benefit from heading out to their favorite spots in town, and enjoying a change in environment
Stay Away from Negativity
Current news tends to be full of negativity. As much as older folks may want to keep abreast of global happenings, try to restrict news watching to certain times in the day to prevent them from turning them into Negative Nancy. You can even suggest just watching snippets of positive news instead of the constant barrage of negative news.
Working out is a powerful tool against depression. Endorphins released from exercising are mood boosters, and better circulation could also improve emotional reactions. Get at least half an hour of exercise a day to take care of mental and emotional health.