As people age, physical health isn’t the only thing they need to pay attention to. Seniors have higher rates of depression than the average population, so it’s important for them to be aware of potential warning signs and treatments. There are a few key reasons seniors have such a high risk of developing depression.
1. More Health Problems
Having chronic physical health problems can take a huge toll on a person’s mental health. A 2006 study published in the journal Spine examined almost 1,400 pairs of senior twins. The study found twins who had chronic lower back pain were also far more likely to live with depression. This is concerning news for seniors, since they have a higher risk of issues like arthritis, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Getting proper healthcare may alleviate these problems and reduce the risk of depression.
In Allentown, in-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
2. Loss of Loved Ones
As seniors get older, others in their age group often pass away. Experiencing the loss of spouses, siblings, and close friends is traumatic and can put a lot of stress on a senior’s mental state, causing depression to develop. Many seniors are expected to just shrug off losses as a natural part of growing old. However, to reduce the risk of depression, seniors need to get care for this intense trauma. Grief counseling can provide healthier ways of managing these challenging emotions.
3. Changes in the Brain
With age, certain areas of the brain shrink and certain neurotransmitter levels change. These can lead to various imbalances and functional problems that make depression more likely. Another potential problem is restricted blood flow, which makes it difficult for the brain to get the oxygen and nutrients it needs. This can lead to a specific type of depression called vascular depression.
Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving 24-hour care. Allentown, PA, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
4. Stressful Life Events
During the golden years, many seniors encounter a lot of changes. For example, they may lose independence, have to move out of their family homes, or encounter financial problems. Any sort of stressful life event can be a trigger for depression. Since seniors are more likely to have these sorts of challenges, they have an equally higher risk of depression.
One of the leading problems among the elderly is social isolation. For some seniors, the isolation is due to events like friends passing away or having to move to be with family. In other cases, the isolation may be because a senior is too ill to leave the home regularly. Isolation ends up causing seniors to feel stressed and alone. Caregivers need to be aware this is a major factor in depression, so they need to help their senior loved ones maintain friendships. Try to schedule outings, take your loved one to support groups, and help him or her use technology to maintain long-distance friendships.
Seniors who are lonely can benefit from having compassionate professional caregivers to share their feelings with. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of homecare services. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.