For many seniors, feelings of isolation and loneliness can lead to depression. If your elderly loved one is unable to leave the home because of physical or cognitive challenges, he or she may be at an increased risk for developing these negative emotions. To help ensure your loved one stays happy and healthy, the senior care experts at Waterloo Home Care Assistance suggest the following strategies to combat depression.
1. Treat Any Insomnia
If your loved one doesn’t get enough sleep each night, he or she is more likely to become depressed. Help your loved one sleep better by setting up a sleep schedule with a regular waking and bed time, avoid napping throughout the day, and discourage the use of alcohol and caffeine, especially in the afternoons. If the symptoms of insomnia persist, talk to your loved one’s doctor for further treatment.
2. Promote Social Ties
Your senior loved one may experience bouts of loneliness or isolation if family or friends live far away. However, encouraging your loved one to to become social and make new friends can help. If it is difficult for your loved one to leave his or her home, helping him or her learn to use a computer to email or Skype with friends or family is a good alternative. Additionally, some studies have shown that simply looking at a picture of loved ones can help prevent depression. With your loved one’s permission, place pictures throughout his or her home to prevent feelings of loneliness.
3. Encourage Exercise
Participating in gentle exercises may help your loved one stay happy, reduce stress, and promote physical health. Performing some light exercise, including walking, stretching, or swimming, even just three times a week can be an effective and enjoyable way to help support your loved one’s mental health.
4. Hire an In-Home Caregiver
Hiring a Waterloo hourly caregiver for your senior loved one can provide him or her with an alternative source of companionship. As a caregiver can also help your loved one with a range of daily tasks, including cleaning, cooking, light housework, and running errands, in addition to providing emotional support, a carefully matched caregiver can make living at home safe, comfortable, and happy for your loved one.
If your loved one is often home alone as a result of a physical or cognitive condition, like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our experienced Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s caregivers in Waterloo are professionally trained to provide in-home assistance, including mobility assistance, safety monitoring, and medication reminders, for a variety of senior needs. To learn more about our care services, give a Care Manager a call at (519) 590-2792 and schedule a free no-obligation consultation.