Tips to Help Seniors Handle Depression after Moving to Assisted Living Homes
Several seniors go through a series of life changes that expose them to depression. One of these changes is moving to an assisted living facility, which is not an easy step for most seniors. Depression is not a normal part of aging. It is frustrating for you to watch your loved one suffer from depression after moving to the facility. Seniors adjust to assisted living homes differently, with some taking a longer time than others to feel at home away from home.
It is essential for caregivers at the assisted living facilities and family members to be keen to note signs of depression in seniors so that they can address them as soon as possible. Some symptoms of a depressed senior who has just moved to an assisted living facility include weight loss, fixation on death, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, and sleep issues. You can follow these suggestions to help your loved one get out of depression and adjust well in the new facility.
You might have noticed that your loved one is withdrawing from the world. Fortunately, you can keep them engaged to help them battle with depression. Invite them for shopping, for a walk in the park, or anything else that can keep them from feeling isolated. Consider giving them a pet to keep them engaged in the facility. Also, taking them out for a movie or a class on something they have always wanted to learn.
Keep them healthy
Make sure that your loved one is eating healthy. Handling a depressed senior is easier when he or she eats the right foods than when taking unhealthy food. Make sure you liaise with caregivers in the facility to avoid unhealthy fats, sugar, and starch. Encourage your loved one to consume fiber-rich food, such as vegetables and fruits, -lean protein and whole grains.
Keep them physically active
Studies reveal that physical activities are a lifesaver for senior people. You can encourage them to be involved in gentle exercises, such as climbing stairs, age-appropriate workouts and walking so that they remain in stable emotional, physical and mental shape. Also, help your loved one to register with group exercise classes where they meet with like-minded seniors and make friends.
Encourage social interaction
Do not let your loved one who is battling with depression stay alone or become lonely. Encourage the senior to visit friends, take part in group meetings, and attend charity or community events. Social life enhances mental, physical and emotional health, which is essential in helping seniors struggling with depression.
Support them with professional help
Most people believe that depression is normal for seniors, which is false. Several factors trigger depression, and moving to an assisted living home is one of them. Therefore, you need to consider getting an expert to help your loved one if the above measures have not worked effectively. Professional help ranges from support groups, one-on-one counseling to medication. Remember to walk with your loved one throughout this journey because your support is paramount in helping them to battle with depression.