The natural progression of life often leaves seniors at a much higher risk for depression than younger adults. Factors like loneliness, changes in health and the loss of loved ones are just a few of the unique stressors that can contribute to depression in seniors.
If you feel that your loved one’s lifestyle is promoting feelings of depression, here are some suggestions for how you can encourage a more positive outlook, provided by the premier provider of home care in New Hampshire, Home Care Assistance.
- Add Greenery to Your Loved One’s Home – According to study published in the journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, seniors that have another living thing to care for, be it a plant or a pet, fare much better than seniors who don’t. The study provided one group of residents in an assisted living facility with houseplants and a class on caring for them. The researchers were stunned to find that the houseplant group was happier, more socially and physically active, less passive and more self-sufficient.
- Encourage a Hobby – There’s no doubt that doing things you enjoy helps you stay happy and feel young, and this most definitely extends to seniors. If your loved one has a particular activity that he or she enjoys or has always wanted to try, encourage them to turn it into a hobby. Hobbies give people a sense of achievement, an outlet for emotions and creativity and a means of keeping the brain sharp. They can also be prime opportunities for social interaction when done in a group setting.
- Partner Up for Daily Exercise – Numerous studies have highlighted the positive effects of exercise on mood, cognitive function and physical health. While simple encouragement may be enough to get your loved one to participate in daily activity, joining in and actually doing exercises together can be even more beneficial. Doing an exercise with them helps to alleviate fear, while also providing more motivation to complete the activity. Whether it’s a daily stroll or walking in place while watching television, any type of physical activity can boost levels of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, channeling more oxygen to the brain to combat depression.
- Help Create a Routine – Without a routine, seniors may feel a lack of purpose, which can contribute to and intensify negative feelings such as depression. Try to help your loved one create a routine so they have a list of things to do, giving them room to enjoy a sense of accomplishment upon completion. If you’re concerned about their ability to perform any of the activities on the list, consider hiring a professional New Hampshire caregiver to provide assistance while promoting independence.
Your loved one’s golden years can be filled with positivity and excitement with the right support systems in place. To learn more about how to promote quality of life for an aging parent or loved one, reach out to the New Hampshire live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance. We offer flexible care schedules, no long-term contracts and complimentary consultations. Call us at 603-471-3004 for more information.