Is There a Proven Way to Prevent Depression?
When you think of your senior mom or dad, do you picture someone who is sad or depressed all the time? It’s important to realize that this is not normal. Aging does not inherently bring unhappiness and depression. If you suspect your loved one is depressed, it’s time to encourage them to see their primary care doctor or a therapist and perhaps even get them more help around the house from home care assistance. Understanding that depression is not a normal part of aging, you may wonder whether it’s possible to prevent it.
Depression is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors, leading to chemical imbalances in the brain. These changes can cause mood swings and feelings of sadness. While there is no surefire way to prevent depression, there are steps a senior can take to find happiness and live a higher quality life, which could help them combat depression.
Downsize Their Homes
Downsizing may not directly impact a senior’s mood or prevent depression, but it can be a significant step in decluttering, refinancing, and making aging in place easier. With fewer things to take care of or a smaller property, the stress on their loved ones can be reduced, which can play a huge role in preventing depression and unhappiness. Downsizing may also make it easier for home care assistance to help manage their household, an important consideration when your loved one chooses to age in place.
Think About Pets
If your loved one has recently lost their partner or close friends, they may feel incredibly alone, which could lead to depression. Of course, your loved one should be encouraged to connect with others and socialize beyond home care assistance, but getting them a furry friend might also be beneficial. They may enjoy having something to care for, love, and a companion waiting for them at home every day. Before deciding on a pet, carefully consider your senior’s preferences and capabilities. For instance, someone who desires a furry friend but is unable to walk them might be better suited to a cat or a bunny.
Go to Therapy
Regular visits to their primary care doctor are essential for seniors, but another beneficial step for your loved one might be to attend therapy or even group therapy. If your loved one has recently lost their partner, group therapy with others in similar situations could be helpful. Alternatively, if your loved one is not as open to sharing with others, one-on-one therapy might be more beneficial. Talking about feelings and understanding them can help seniors come to terms with events in their lives, and even if they are sad, it may help keep depression at bay.
While there is no guaranteed method to prevent depression in seniors, steps like downsizing their homes, considering the companionship of pets, and seeking therapy can provide significant support. These measures, along with the assistance of home care services, can contribute to a happier and more fulfilling life for your aging loved ones.