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Understanding Depression

Depression is a psychological disorder defined as the presence of sad, empty, or irritable moods, accompanied by somatic and cognitive changes that significantly affect the individual’s capacity to function. (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders Fifth Edition)

Depression is one of the most common psychological disorders among the elderly. Most of them that suffer from this illness undergo poorer overall quality of life. Understanding that depression is not merely feeling sad but a prolonged feeling of hopelessness and emptiness inside of oneself can help us better comfort the people that we love.

Caring for Elderly with Depression

There are a great many ways to care for the elderly who are suffering from depression and one of the biggest roles to play is being their family. There are a few ways for a family member to engage with them:​

  • Keep them in your company and entertain them to enlighten their mood and relief their stress.

  • Providing moral support.

  • Gentle encouragement to do a change of routine from time to time to keep healthy.

  • Urge them to seek medical help and accompany them while doing so to increase familiarity and to comfort them reassuring them that they will get the help that they need.

Encouraging them to seek the appropriate social support is also one of the more effective ways to keep them engage as social isolation will help to increase the likeliness of triggering a depressive episode. One of the ways to provide this is by sending them to any nursing home for the elderly. This will help him or her to be surrounded by friends of around the same age group. This will make it easier for them to be friends with and help them to constantly be engaging with other people. If the elderly are somewhat reluctant to go to a nursing home, one of the alternatives that can be taken into account is by hiring an in-house caregiver. The in-house caregiver will give them constant social support and be engaging with them as to not let them feel lonely at home.

In a conclusion, depression is one of the matters not to take lightly with. If not treated with care, it will result in very dire consequences. Therefore, as a family, we need to take care of our elderly parents to make sure that they have a happy life and healthy living lifestyle.

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