Feelings of loneliness and depression are not uncommon in the elderly, and many seniors aren’t always sure how to reclaim positivity in their lives.However, sometimes just a few simple lifestyle changes can wash the negative feelings away. The staff at Home Care Assistance of Naples has a few suggestions for how to help your senior loved one prevent loneliness and depression.
Encourage your loved one to volunteer time to a cause he or she feels strongly about. Even if it is just for a few hours a week, volunteering gives your loved one the opportunity to help others and build friendships, which can help prevent the isolation that often leads to depression. Your loved one’s local senior center, area agency on aging, church groups, and hospitals can put him or her in touch with volunteer opportunities in the community.
Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
Exhaustion and depression are often linked, but eating healthy foods and taking a daily multivitamin can provide your loved one with adequate nourishment and energy to help counter the depression. Seniors should aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to keep exhaustion at bay, and engaging in mild-to-moderate daily exercise can also build up energy and help improve your loved one’s mood.
Finding a Hobby
Hobbies can engage the mind and build motivation to help stave off depression, and some hobbies encourage social interaction, which can help prevent loneliness. Many hobbies are inexpensive and can even be performed by seniors with limited mobility. Here are some hobbies you might want to suggest for your loved one:
• Model trains
• Reading/joining a book club
Adopting a Pet
Studies show pets can promote both physical and emotional health in the elderly through companionship, entertainment, and unconditional love. Having a pet can give your loved one a renewed sense of meaning and purpose, and can create opportunities to be more physically active and meet other people.
Taking a Class
Many community colleges and universities offer courses specifically designed for older adults. The classes are typically inexpensive and cover a broad range of topics that can spark imagination and creativity. Learning a new skill can provide your loved one with mental stimulation and opportunities for socialization that can combat depression and loneliness.
Though many of these options can be successful in helping ward off depression and loneliness, some seniors may face physical or mental health challenges preventing them from taking part in certain activities. If your loved one needs an alternative solution for preventing loneliness and depression in his or her life, a professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help.At Home Care Assistance, we offer live-in and hourly care in Naples, and our caregivers can offer companionship and daily support for your loved one and provide transportation to social events. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (239) 449-4701 to schedule a free in-home consultation.