Home Care Tips: Helping Depressed Elders

February 22, 2016

Everybody knows that aging can be difficult. You might notice that aside from the changes in your aging mother’s body, alterations are also occurring in her lifestyle. It is becoming very difficult for her so you decide to hire home care. Despite this, her wellbeing – especially her mood – starts deteriorating. What can you do for your elderly parent in home care who seems depressed?

Although you are no professional, it doesn’t mean that there is nothing you can do to help alleviate your loved one’s troubles. In fact, there’s plenty of ways to help your aging parent through her depression. Below are some tips that you should follow.

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Do Not Disregard Symptoms

Often, people pretend that there are no existing problems instead of facing them. This does not mean that they do not care about their loved ones. Sometimes, it’s merely because they think that by avoiding the issue, it will go away. If you are one of these people, it’s important to remember that hiding from the issue at hand will only do more damage than good. On the other hand, there are times when the reason for avoidance is because they don’t believe that depression is a real illness. This notion is incorrect; never disregard its symptoms especially if your elderly loved one starts showing them. If she refuses to eat every day or refrains from doing activities that she used to enjoy, it might be depression.

Hear Them Out

Communication with your elderly parent is important. There are instances though wherein it is more important that you listen instead of talk. Your aging mom is experiencing changes in her body and, at times, all she needs is someone who will listen. By listening to her, you are offering direct comfort and support to your loved one. If your depressed mother opens up to you, try to listen without interrupting or judging her. Instead of trying to convince her that she is wrong, just let her get it out of her chest.

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Be Careful With Your Words

The last thing you want is for your aging loved one to stop communicating with you. To avoid this, try to be more careful with your words. The word ‘depression’ or ‘therapy’ can be scary and might make them defensive so if possible, refrain from using these words. While talking to them, watch out their reaction towards certain words that you use. This will give you an idea of which words to avoid because repeating them might provoke your loved one to raise barriers and push her to refuse to talk to you.

Encourage Them to Exercise

Do you know that people who exercise regularly live a longer, healthier, and happier life? It’s true! This is why you should encourage your aging mother to don a pair of rubber shoes and work out. Remember to start easy though, especially if she hasn’t exercised in years. She can start by walking around her neighborhood before gradually upgrading her workout routine. Regular exercise can help eliminate the feelings of loneliness and improve your mother’s quality of life. What’s more, aging adults who exercise are more likely to stay independent, so make sure to encourage your mom now!

Depression is a real issue and we should not be afraid to address it. Once you see symptoms of this illness on your aging parent, don’t disregard it. Instead, show your parent that you care and support her by following the tips above.

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