Everyone’s life experiences are vastly different from one another, but for some seniors, they may experience feelings of loneliness, sadness, and ineptitude as they get older. While depression and anxiety are still largely considered sensitive topics in a lot of social circles, these are mental illnesses that require a great deal of attention because they’re heavily affecting our elderly population in North America. Providing your elderly loved one with high-quality and compassionate in-home mental health care treatment can help offset and even prevent some of these feelings of inadequacy. Keep reading to learn more.
How to Help Your Elderly Loved One Cope with Depression
Due to generational restrictions and certain social habits, your elderly parent or grandparent might not necessarily feel comfortable discussing their inner emotional turmoil with you or anyone else close to them. When it comes to establishing an open dialogue about depression with your elderly loved one, you need to remember to tread lightly and be supportive.
Keep in mind that your elderly loved one may come from a generation where people were encouraged to keep their feelings to themselves and any sign of emotion was considered a weakness. You need to take slow, cautious steps to let them know that it’s perfectly acceptable to discuss their feelings earnestly and openly.
Professional in-home mental health services for the elderly hire top-notch caregivers who are specially trained to deal with these types of situations on a daily basis. Caregivers provide extensive invaluable support and respite for family members whose roles as primary caregivers have been taking a toll on their lives and educate them about the best practices to use when communicating effectively on an emotional level with their elderly loved ones. Here are a few important tips that family members should consider when it comes to caring for their elderly loved ones that are suffering from depression.
Spend Quality Time with Them
Understandably, this isn’t always possible as you have your own life to lead and other people that also require your love, care, and attention. After all, that’s the reason that mental health care services for seniors exist in the first place—to support people just like you. However, even if you hire the most qualified caregiver in the world, at the end of the day nothing will ever replace their need for intimate familial relationships. Taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit them, even once a week, can make a big difference in their lives.
Be Available when They Need You
Sometimes, this means going beyond your scheduled visits. Whether it’s your parent or grandparent, your elderly loved one was always there for you when you needed them and now it’s time for you to return the favour in a guilt-free manner. In a moment of loneliness, they might call you just to chat or because they actually need something. Try not to ignore that call. However, if something comes up or you’re in the middle of doing something when they happen to contact you, tell them you’ll call them right back as soon as you’re free and actually do it.
Provide Social Support
Every once in a while, it might be nice to take your elderly loved one out for dinner, a movie, or any other social activity that they enjoy doing. Basically, make them feel valued and appreciated by demonstrating that you enjoy spending time with them and engaging in their favourite activities. It’ll give you the opportunity to further cement your bond with them.
Encourage Them to Get More Exercise
Many seniors prefer to spend their golden years living independently in their own homes. The only problem with this is, if they don’t get a lot of visitors, it might discourage them from going out much or getting any exercise. Scheduling routine exercise sessions such as going for a walk or doing a few simple stretches is quite often, a great way to help uplift their mood and keep them in good shape.
Help Them Take Their Medications
Seniors with serious medical conditions are typically required to take an assortment of medications and keeping track of all of them can sometimes get very confusing, especially if they’re suffering from any type of dementia. Oftentimes, they need someone that’s of sound mind and body to set medication reminders and help them take the correct medication at the right time. Certain medications also come with very specific instructions and must either be taken with or without food. Having someone available to help your loved one with medication management is highly important to their overall well-being.
Help Them Maintain a Healthy Diet
Organizations such as Laurentian Retirement Services also provide healthy meal plans for seniors who are living independently to help alleviate some of the pressures involved in providing home cooked meals for your elderly loved ones. Your options are endless and you can create a specialized meal plan based entirely on the dietary restrictions of your loved ones. The meals will be delivered to them on a weekly basis or as often as you see fit to ensure that they’re able to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet.
How In-Home Caregivers Assist Seniors with Depression
Whether you’re looking for home healthcare in Hamilton, in-home nursing care in Oakville, or general senior care in Burlington, Laurentian Retirement Services can provide the right caregiver to suit the needs of your elderly loved one without compromise. Our caregivers all have comprehensive training when it comes to handling the special needs of their patients. To schedule a consultation with one of our senior care experts, please feel free to contact us today.