Depression is an increasingly prevalent problem in today’s society. Some people become more at risk of experiencing depression as they age. Seniors who are isolated and perhaps no longer able to take part in the activities they used to enjoy may develop symptoms of depression as a result of these changes.
Caregivers should be mindful of this and take steps to look after the mental health of seniors in their care. But, at the same time, caregivers also need to be mindful of their own mental health. Shouldering the burden of care can be stressful and demanding. Let’s look at some tips for preventing depression in both seniors and their caregivers.
Preventing depression in older adults
When caring for seniors, it’s important to encourage them to stay connected. Socialization is one of the most important factors, as loneliness is a common problem for seniors. As well as friends and family visits, seniors could join a club or a class where they can meet new people and see them on a regular basis.
It also helps to set goals with them so that they have something to work toward. Goals will vary greatly depending on the person’s interests and capabilities. Talk together about what kinds of goals they could set. Pursuing hobbies is also good for lifting spirits and giving them something to look forward to. Gardening is a popular hobby among seniors.
Maintaining a balanced diet and staying active can help to maintain mental health as well as physical health. So, make sure they’re eating enough and that they’re getting a mix of fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein.
Looking after your own mental health
Self-care is also important for caregivers. Make sure that you give yourself enough breaks and time off from your responsibilities. If you can, try sharing your duties with your siblings or other family members. If there is no one else available, then try looking into temporary in-home care services or respite care.
Focus on your own diet and activity levels, too. The same principles apply to you as they do to those you’re caring for, so make sure you’re not neglecting your own needs because you’re too focused on them. As well as taking the time to socialize, you should also have someone who you can talk to if you’re facing problems. This could be a friend, a family member, or a therapist.
Do you need support when caring for an elderly loved one? At Bermuda Village, we provide independent living, assisted living, and additional care solutions for seniors. Get in touch to find out more about our community in Bermuda Run.