Depression is a severe problem for people of all ages; however, it can be even more devastating for older adults and seniors who even resist treatment because they don’t want to burden their families. Moreover, most seniors don’t want to add depression to the list of health problems that are already facing; hence, they may be reluctant to accept that they have a problem.
Taking care of older people with depression can be quite challenging, yet there are some ways in which you can make things easier for yourself and the elderly in your family. Here are seven effective ways to improve the treatment of depression in older adults and seniors.
Talk to them about their feelings:
Most of the time, older adults don’t have anyone to talk to. Their children are caught up in their own lives, and their friends are slowly passing away or dealing with their health problems.
This loneliness and the constantly looming fear of sickness and death can be extremely overwhelming on their minds, making them depressed.
Loneliness is the worst for a person with depression; therefore, make sure that you talk to the elderly people in your life. Whether it is your parents, grandparents, or anyone else, take some time to visit them, and take an interest in their lives.
If you can visit your parents, you should at least call them every day. It hardly takes 5 minutes, but it will mean the world to your parents, and it will be quite helpful in the prevention and treatment of depression.
Make sure they are getting enough sleep:
Sleep deprivation can have quite devastating effects on one’s mental and physical health. Furthermore, elderly people are more susceptible to sleep deprivation because several health problems can make it challenging for them to get a good night’s sleep.
For instance, many seniors who have to deal with arthritis can’t sleep properly because of pain. Not having the right sleep environment can also cause problems.
Therefore, make sure the elderly people in your life have the best possible environment for a comfortable sleep routine. It would be best if you considered getting them a smart mattress or a massage chair, which they can use before going to bed.
Keep track of their medications:
At an older age, most people have to take medications for one problem or another. However, many pharmaceutical medications have severe mental side effects, and sometimes they can be the cause of depression.
Therefore, you must keep track of the medications that your parents are taking. Ideally, the use of medication should be kept to a minimum, and wherever it is possible, alternative natural solutions should be used.
For instance, massage therapy can be a very effective way to relieve pain caused by arthritis or muscle soreness.
Introduce them to cannabis:
Weed is an incredible drug; it has many medical benefits that elderly people can use. However, most importantly, cannabis can be an alternative to pharmaceutical antidepressants.
Though antidepressants can be effective for temporary relief from depression, they also have many side effects, and over time, people can also develop a dependency on their drugs. Therefore, these medications can be quite detrimental to the health of elderly people.
It is important to find an alternative solution to depression symptoms so that patients can attend their therapy sessions, and cannabis is one of the best. Weed, especially high CBD sativa strains, are perfect for the treatment of depression.
They can make patients more happy, energetic, and relaxed, with minimal euphoric effects. THC strains can also be very effective for relaxation when a depressive episode gets too bad. Therefore, get your THC vape pen, and use it to combat stress and depression.
Consider adopting an emotional support pet:
Another excellent way to counter depression is to get an emotional support dog. These dogs are trained to show their owners affection and love when they are feeling down. They can be quite helpful in the treatment of depression, and they are quite easy to take care of.
Emotional support dogs are excellent companions; therefore, consider adopting one if you have someone with depression in your home.
Find them a support group:
Depression is a very serious and complicated disease, and it can be quite challenging for a person who has never been through depression to understand what it feels like. Therefore, one of the best ways to facilitate depression is to find a support group.
If an older person in your family suffers from depression, you should try and find a depression support group for them. There they will be able to meet people who are going through the same problems that they are. Furthermore, they will also get a chance to talk with people who have beaten depression, giving the depressed person a lot of hope.
Help them find a good therapist:
Though there are multiple ways to suppress depression, which have different degrees of effectiveness, the only effective way is psychotherapy when it comes to permanent and long-term treatment of depression.
Doctors use different therapy techniques; however, one of the most effective treatments for depression is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
In CBT, the target is to find and identify negative thought patterns and work to fix them. Therefore, it is very effective in the treatment of depression. It would be best to look around for qualified therapists in your area who have experience in dealing with elderly patients. Moreover, it would be best if you also took the depression patient to their therapy sessions. This will make them feel safer and more supported.
Depression is a severe mental disorder that affects a lot of elderly people. There are many factors why seniors are affected more by depression; however, one of the most prominent is deteriorating health conditions. According to an estimate, more than 25 percent of cancer and about 50 percent of stroke patients suffer from depression.
Therefore, taking care of the elderly people in our lives is essential, and with their physical health, you also need to make it a priority to take care of their mental wellbeing.