Loneliness can be one of the causes of depression for seniors and the elderly population. The Geriatric Mental Health Foundations notes that depression is not a natural part of aging, no matter what the cause. The GMHF also points out that when depression “is properly diagnosed and treated, more than 80 percent of those suffering from depression recover and return to their normal lives.”
If you or someone you love is dealing with loneliness and depression there are several things you should do. First, understand that depression is a medical illness. Make sure a physician is involved in the diagnosis and treatment plan.
Simple tips to help loved ones cope with loneliness:
Adopt a pet
There’s nothing quite like the love and companionship of a furry friend. Local animal rescues and shelters can help find a pet suitable for your situation. Having a pet to take care of also helps seniors have a sense of purpose. Pets also help keep seniors active with walks and feedings.
Join a spiritual community
Joining a local church, synagogue, Buddhist temple or other places of worship offers many opportunities for seniors to interact with others and enhance their spiritual life. Many places of worship have programs specifically designed for seniors. If you or your loved one no longer drives, there are many transportation options to get you to and from your place of worship including services we offer.
Even small physical activity can help combat loneliness and depression. Many senior centers and fitness centers like the YMCA offer group classes for seniors.
Seniors can use their experience and wisdom by volunteering. This is a great way for seniors to connect with their community while providing a sense of purpose. Some areas that may have volunteer opportunities for seniors include schools, churches, and business mentorship programs like Score Nashville.
Hire a Professional Caregiver
Companion Care gives seniors someone to talk to and interact with who also can help with light housework, meal prep, transportation, and running errands. Seniors who have a companion or in-home care tend to be more socialized and able to stay in their own homes longer.
If you or a loved one is showing signs of loneliness and depression and are curious whether caregiving services could help, call us today at 615-422-7549 to set up your no-obligation consultation.