Owners' Blog

Preventing Depression Among Chronically Ill Seniors

By Greg and Hilary Eldridge

Caregivers in Johns Creek GA


If your loved one spent most of their adult life in a career or job, retirement may be a difficult transition for them. Or if the elder has been diagnosed with a health problem that requires help from caregivers, the senior may have trouble coping with this new change. Whatever could be causing your parent to feel a little down lately can be transformed into a much more positive outlook on life by making a few adjustments to their daily life. Below are a few things that can be done to prevent your elderly loved one from developing depression due to their health issues.

  • Visit often. Older adults with health problems will have plenty of time to think about their health condition when they are by themselves. These thoughts can easily lead to depression. However, you and other family members can create a distraction by stopping by to check on the elder as frequently as you can. Invite them over for dinner, play games together, or take your loved one out on the town for the day in order to keep their spirits up. These distractions will also show the elder just how loved and supported they are.
  • Encourage a healthy lifestyle. As with any health problem, your loved one was probably put on a specific diet or workout regimen in order to help them manage their condition. Help them stick to this exercise and dieting plan by assisting with the grocery shopping and meal preparations. You may also want to consider eating meals nightly, weekly, or monthly in order to make sure the elder is eating the right foods.
  • Help the elder create achievable goals. Is there something your loved one has always wanted to do, like reach a certain weight, travel, or learn a new skill? Help them create specific goals that can be reached as a way to boost their self-confidence and optimistic outlook.
  • Talk to their doctor. If you are the primary caregiver of the elder, it is important that you have an open line of communication with their doctor. This will ensure that you are aware of any changes in their health. Also, if you begin to notice any symptoms that seem like depression, let the doctor know right away. They may be able to prescribe medication or other recommendations that could help solve the problem.

With these tips, you will be able to reduce your loved one’s risk of developing depression while coping with other health problems.

Source:
http://www.caregiverstress.com/illnesses-conditions/senior-depression/avoid-depression-chronic-illness/
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20518814,00.html

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregivers in Johns Creek, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.