Depression in Seniors
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.”
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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 »
“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 »
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 »
With over 328 million people residing in the U.S. alone, it is hard to believe that senior loneliness would be so prevalent. And yet of the number of older adults living alone, more than 60% of them report being chronically lonely.
In spite of its reputation for being viewed as the season of joy, the combination of seniors and the holidays can lead to profound feelings of unhappiness for many older adults. Yearning for holidays past, despair over the loss of family and friends, and worrisome changes to health can intensify throughout the holiday season, and it’s important to take the appropriate steps to help older loved ones avoid the downward spiral into senior holiday depression.
If an older adult you love is feeling blue this holiday season, begin by asking yourself these three questions
Could it possibly be normal nostalgia? Wistful feelings of nostalgia, thinking of pre-pandemic holiday get-togethers and celebrations, are normal for all of us. See if the older adult’s sadness is lifted immediately following … Read More »
Think about the most perfect holiday season you can possibly imagine. While that image may vary a bit for each of us, it typically includes lights, gifts, good food, and traditions handed down through the generations. Yet what most definitely rings true for all of us is the happiness in spending time with the people we love. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused us all to rethink how to safely enjoy the holidays with seniors during a pandemic. With a bit of ingenuity and creativity, however, it’s feasible to bridge the gap while making new memories with the seniors you love, even if you cannot be together with them in person this season.
Our aging care professionals have collected several suggestions to help you celebrate the holidays with seniors during a pandemic:
Adjust traditions. Think through the traditions that mean the … Read More »