Millions of seniors suffer from depression because of the challenges of aging. This can be caused by declining health, lack of mobility, or by losing a partner or a family member.
If your older family member, friend or colleague appears cheerless, has lost weight, is disengaged or forgetful, lacks motivation and energy, or is neglecting personal care, then they may be depressed. While every situation is different, there are ways you can help improve an aging person’s mental health:
#1 Keep Your Cool
It’s natural to worry about your loved ones’ mental health. However, it’s important to stay cool and calm around them. Your anxiety or frustration can be counterproductive. Open the lines of communication by staying clam and receptive to a senior’s concerns.
#2 Consult a Physician
A doctor can help a senior with their mental health in several ways. If the source of depression is a physical ailment, then they can provide treatment. Otherwise, they can recommend the services of a mental health professional.
#3 Consider Treatment Options
Many treatment options can help an ageing citizen with their mental health. Consult with your Senior for their views. If they’re not receptive to conventional methods, then they may be willing to try alternative means. Here are some treatment options that can help a Senior with depression:
- Medication can help rebalance chemicals in the brain to treat depression. While it’s effective, some people prefer to use it only as a last resort. We recommend seeking medical advice from a doctor or a mental health professional before taking any medication.
- If certain life events have affected the mood of a Senior, then talk therapy with a professional who specializes in working with Seniors can be effective.
- Art therapy combines creativity and psychotherapy to treat mental health challenges. It can greatly benefit seniors, especially those who are struggling with dexterity and motor skills loss.
- Animal-assisted therapy can help reduce stress and depression and improves blood pressure and self-esteem. Studies indicate that it’s highly effective among Seniors.
#4 Get Home Care Services
Seniors prefer to live in their homes or choice of residence with dignity rather than move to a health care facility. This is possible in most major cities where professional help is available. For example, you can find high-quality home care services in Toronto that can be tailored to suit the needs of your loved one.
These caregivers are thoroughly screened and trained. Not only are they dependable, but they’re passionate about helping Seniors live with comfort and independence. With the aid of these services, you can help your loved one happily stay in familiar surroundings.
#5 Organize a Support System
Loneliness is a common source of depression among Seniors, especially those who’ve lost their partners. Give your loved one as much time as you can. But remember that you can’t do this alone. Organize a support system with their family. Create a schedule where someone engages with them every day of the week, even if it’s through the phone. And try to involve them in social events as much as you can.
These are a few ways you can improve the mental health of your loved one. With your support and professional help, they can improve their outlook on life.