Caregivers can play a major role in helping seniors avoid depression and gain happiness. Typically society has made sure that the basic physical needs of the elder are met so that they can remain healthy, yet emotional wellness is sometimes overlooked but also very important. Depression has become a major problem among older adults, and most people believe it is a natural consequence of aging. However, it has been proven that senior citizens can remain happy as they age. Here are several behaviors that caregivers can encourage to help the elderly avoid depression:
Fill a Need: Feeling useful and valuable to the community can help senior citizens fight off depression and feel self worth. Seniors who strive to make other people happy tend to be happier themselves. As a caregiver you can help by encouraging the elderly to be a part of the community they live in and take on a helping role. Give seniors a job they can easily do like helping with chores, teaching people how to do things, or even sharing wisdom with others.
Stay Social: Sometimes elderly people can feel cut off and isolated from others. While as a caregiver you see them day in and out, the seniors may not be staying in touch with family and friends who were once close or interacting with other throughout the day. Encourage seniors to engage in activities that involve other people and to stay in touch with family and friends.
Remain Mentally Active: Staying mentally active can help fight off Alzheimer’s disease and can go a long way with making seniors feel happy. Seniors who do not have much to occupy their minds with tend to be more prone to depression. As a caregiver you can help keep seniors’ minds active by providing puzzles, crosswords, or other mentally stimulating games or tasks to complete.
Exercise Regularly: Physical exercise is very important for seniors. It not only helps them stay fit, but also can stimulate endorphins which can boost moods. Caregivers can encourage senior citizens to exercise regularly and find exercises that meet their physical abilities. To find exercises that are good for seniors check out the answer to this question: What type of exercises are best for seniors?
As a caregiver you can play a major role in help senior citizens stay happy and avoid depression. Just by encouraging the four behaviors above, you can encourage self worth, boost moods, and make an incredible difference in the emotional wellness of seniors.