Helping Senior Citizens Combat Depression

As social creatures, we strive to live healthily, pursue happiness, and seek out companionship. With all of that, a good balance between physical and mental wellbeing is important. Sometimes, we often see the senior citizens in our life as healthy, but we need to remember that they also can suffer from loneliness and depression, even living within a community

There are many things that can occur that may cause stress and sadness with senior citizens, and as their friends or family, we need to be aware and vigilant to notice symptoms of depression. 

Some common signs of depression in older people are mostly likely to be: 

  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Constantly feeling tired
  • Grumpiness or easily irritable

As you can see, it’s quite easy to confuse these symptoms with normal ailments that come with aging. Depression can be hard to identify in the elderly, since the signs of depression differ than those compared to a younger demographic. Often, seniors are unwilling to share their feelings with doctors. 

Living in a retirement community, like Ashbridge Manor, can help with feelings of loneliness and depression. These establishments offer tools and activities to help seniors combat social isolation by increasing social contact. Dancing, singing, crocheting, cards, and arts & crafts are just a few activities designed to enhance senior wellbeing. 

There are things you can offer the seniors in your life to help within the home:

Home Assistant: Our seniors can use Google Home or Amazon Echo to help make daily routines simpler. They can play their favorite song, find out the weather, and get reminders all with voice activated technology. 

Weighted Blankets: Studies have shown that weighted blankets can help with anxiety and insomnia, two symptoms of depression. The weight has a calming effect … much like a hug or cuddle. The physical feeling encourages the brain to produce serotonin, which promotes a better mood and a sense of calm. With the calmness, weighted blankets also promote deep sleep. As with anything, seniors should consult their doctors before purchasing to ensure there aren’t any issues with any existing medical conditions, problems with circulation, or respiratory issues. 

Light Therapy: SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is a type of depression mostly seen in the fall and winter. However, it can also apply to those who cannot leave their homes very often to experience the sunshine. Even being out in the sun for 20 minutes each day allows our skin to absorb much needed UV rays that promote serotonin and Vitamin D production. However, aging seniors who have mobility issues may not get sufficient exposure to the sun daily. This is where light therapy can become helpful. 

At Ashbridge Manor Senior Living, we make it easy for our residents to stay at home and stay positive in these trying time. When it’s time to consider transitioning to senior assisted living, contact us at Ashbridge Manor Senior Living. Our dedicated senior living professionals are here to make the transition easy, and our facilities emphasize wellness, fun daily activities, and a welcoming sense of community. Find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information.