Depression in Seniors


What Can You Do When Family Members Refuse to Help With Senior Care?

If your family members refuse to help with senior care for a loved one, there are effective ways to get the help you need!

If you find yourself handling all of the care responsibilities for an aging parent while your siblings distance themselves from offering help, you’re not alone. In fact, as many as one out of every two family caregivers are taking care of an aging loved one on their own, according to a recent report from AARP. What can you do when family members refuse to help with senior care?

There are several reasons why siblings may shy away from supporting you in the care you’re providing. We’ve compiled the most common, along with what you can do to remedy the situation.

They don’t realize there’s a need for help. It may very well be that from … Read More »



Understanding Parkinson’s Fatigue: It Feels Like “Walking Through Molasses”

Parkinson’s fatigue affects a person cognitively, physically, and emotionally.

Parkinson’s fatigue affects as many as one in two people with the disease, but until recently, we haven’t fully understood just how debilitating this condition actually is. A study is providing us with the insight we need to comprehend the impact of Parkinson’s fatigue, and what we can do to help someone experiencing it. Led by Duke University’s Sneha Mantri, MD, the goal of the research was to gain firsthand patient insights to know how to better address this challenging condition.

Three distinct areas of fatigue were investigated in the study: physical, emotional, and cognitive. Participants were asked to describe their level of fatigue, and the terms they used were quite revealing, including feeling unmotivated, overwhelmed, isolated, lacking energy, and as if they were “walking through molasses.”

Parkinson’s fatigue … Read More »



The Alarming Link Between Isolation and Alzheimer’s Progression

An attractive mature African American woman asks a question by raising her hand in class.

In the past several years since COVID-19 became a household term, seniors, who are most vulnerable to severe complications from the virus, became more isolated in order to stay safe. And while we already were aware that there are health risks connected with loneliness and isolation, we’re now beginning to realize another serious concern: how isolation and Alzheimer’s progression are linked.

Since people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia may struggle to understand and follow safety precautions, like wearing face coverings, reporting symptoms, and social distancing, isolation for these individuals became especially critical. But while maintaining these seniors’ physical health was the top priority, it’s also important to pay attention to their emotional wellbeing, which can also be negatively impacted without sufficient … Read More »


How to Effectively Handle the Extreme Emotions of Alzheimer’s

Screaming, crying, and other extreme emotions of Alzheimer’s can unnerve even the most seasoned family caregiver.

Of the many and varied challenging behaviors someone with Alzheimer’s may experience and display, perhaps the most heartbreaking is uncontrollable screaming and/or crying. Seeing a person you love in an inconsolable state of mind, and being completely unsure how to help or to understand what’s causing these extreme emotions of Alzheimer’s, is both painful and frustrating. How can you help a loved one with dementia feel calmer?

To begin with, realize that crying and yelling in dementia can occur as the result of:

Pain
Fear
Boredom
Sadness
Agitation
Frustration
Delusions, delirium, or hallucinations
Sundowning
An uncomfortable environment
Or a number of other factors

For the short-term, try these strategies to help:

Stay calm yourself, speaking to the senior in a soft, soothing tone of voice.
Try to uncover what’s causing the outburst. Maintaining a … Read More »



5 Ways to Calm Agitation in Alzheimer’s

Agitation in Alzheimer’s is common but can be eased with these tips.

Agitation in Alzheimer’s is one of the more difficult effects a senior may experience, and it can be incredibly hard for family members to manage. The key is in taking steps to handle agitation before it’s felt and expressed by the senior, which involves keeping track of what has brought about these feelings in the past, and creating a home environment in which those triggers are removed or minimized. These strategies can help:

Designate an area of retreat. When life begins to get stressful, having a specially created area for a senior loved one to go to de-stress can work wonders in restoring calm. This could be a separate room, or merely a comfortable corner with several soothing activities easily available, quiet music, a calming scent to … Read More »



Overcome Senior Isolation and Loneliness with These Tips

We know that socialization is vitally important for our overall emotional (and even physical) wellbeing – but we also know that senior isolation and loneliness is an epidemic in America. With the hectic pace of life, it’s difficult for families and friends to provide the full measure of social interaction needed to keep loneliness at bay for older adults, who are often homebound or unable to get out as much as they’d like. 

But the mother of invention truly is necessity, and the need for creative socialization solutions has sparked some interesting innovations:

The Chat Bench

Thanks to the police department in the southwest England town of Burnham-On-Sea, several benches now boast signage that boldly proclaims, “The Happy to Chat Bench: Sit Here if You Don’t Mind Someone Stopping to Say Hello.” And, stop they do! It’s a lovely … Read More »



End-of-Life Care Tip: Participating in Tough Conversations

When providing end-of-life care, one of the best gifts you can offer is a listening ear.

Sharing what’s on our hearts with those we love is never more important than when someone is nearing the end of life. There are often unspoken sentiments and unresolved issues that, once verbalized, can bring peace and a deeper connection with our loved ones in their final days. 

As Dr. Jessica Zitter, physician in critical and palliative care medicine at Highland Hospital in Oakland, CA explains, “Those are opportunities for people to take stock and say, ‘I want to be more intentional about how I want to relate to people in my life.’ Death should really be seen as the last opportunity that you have to make amends and clean things up before you’re in the next world, wherever that may be.”

Read More »



4 Ways to Promote Purpose and Meaning for Seniors

Promote purpose and meaning for the seniors in your life with these ideas.

Think of a typical day in the life of a senior loved one. Hopefully it provides several positive and enriching experiences: enjoying breakfast, engaging in a fun hobby or interest, visiting with a friend or family member, watching a favorite TV show. Nevertheless, there’s a difference between positivity and purpose and meaning for seniors; and the need for a life rich with significance and purpose is starting to become more evident, particularly in the life of aging parents.

Viktor Frankl , world-renowned psychiatrist and survivor of the Holocaust, shares poignantly, “What matters is not the meaning in life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.”

For people whose identity has been focused on a career and raising … Read More »



5 Tips to Effectively Manage Paranoia in Seniors

Paranoia in seniors with dementia can be challenging, but these tips can help.

“I’m telling you, there’s a dog in my closet! I hear it growling all night long. We’ve got to track down its owner!”

Listening to a senior loved one express concerns like this that you know to be untrue is distressing – however, not unheard of. Your first instinct may well be to try and rationalize with the person with a response such as, “Nonsense! There is no way a dog could have gotten into the closet!” However, for various reasons, this could be the least effective technique to handle unreasonable thoughts and paranoia in seniors.

Instead, we at Hired Hands Homecare propose the following tactics which will help bring back a sense of calm and wellbeing:

First, schedule an appointment with the senior’s physician. It … Read More »



4 Key Warning Signs of Senior Depression

Posted on October 6th, by Mark Winter in Depression in Seniors, Senior Health. No Comments

Watch for the signs of senior depression and seek help immediately if noted.

Lots of people go through periods of time when they simply want to be left alone for a bit with their thoughts, to think through situations in their lives without any distractions, or just to experience some downtime. For older adults, however, being isolated for an extended period of time may be indicative of a more serious condition: senior depression.

At Hired Hands Homecare, our caregivers have shared the journey through depression with many seniors, and would like to offer help. The most important first step is to contact the older adult’s doctor as soon as possible if you suspect he or she is struggling with depression. Depression is treatable, and the sooner, the better.

Keep an eye out for these signs of senior depression in your loved … Read More »






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What Can You Do When Family Members Refuse to Help With Senior Care?

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