Recognizing Depression in Seniors

Depression is a difficult topic to discuss with anyone, especially family members.The stigma that looms over the title of “mental illness” is a difficult problem to solve. Many warning signs of depression are often overlooked and, unfortunately, are only realized after it is too late.

Woman with her hand on another woman's shoulderDepression in older adults can easily be written off as “moodiness” or “typical behaviors”. This is not always the case. Sure, everybody has an image of that cranky man on television that lives down the block, but depression is very different.

Warning signs of depression vary greatly from person to person, but can still be identified. The sooner they are recognized for what they are, the better chance there is to arm yourself and your loved ones with the right tools to battle depression.

According to the Administration on Aging, some common warning signs are:

  • Sad, discouraged mood
  • Persistent pessimism about the present, future and the past
  • Loss of interest in work, hobbies, social life, and sex
  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • Lack of energy and feeling slowed down
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Loss of appetite and loss of weight
  • Disturbed sleep, especially early morning waking
  • Depressive, gloomy or desolate dreams
  • Suicidal thoughts

Signed into law by president, Lyndon Johnson, the Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA) set out to maintain the dignity and welfare of older Americans. It also paved the way for services that organized and coordinated opportunities of older Americans and their families to recognize and treat symptoms of depression in the community.

The AOA website offers a vast amount of resources for families and caregivers that allow them to care for their loved ones with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Family sitting around elderly man smiling

If you or your loved one are feeling the effects of depression, know that there are resources that are available for you. Nobody needs to battle depression alone and the symptoms should not be disregarded as minor feelings. Call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the 24/7 Treatment Referral Line at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) to find the treatment that works for you.

Visit psycom.net with your loved one to obtain a better understanding of what you may be feeling.

 

Your health and wellbeing go far beyond physical wellness. At Arise, our philosophy is “Stay Home, Stay Safe. Stay Healthy,” And that is exactly what we want for al or patients- no matter the age and no matter the symptoms.

3 Ways A Senior Day Program Keeps Your Family Member’s Brain Healthy

It’s important to continue to exercise the mind every day, especially as one ages. Your family member may not get the mental stimulation they used to. With fewer friends to have conversations with, lowered ability to travel to do activities and less direct interaction with people, the brain starts to lose some of its abilities.

At Arise Cares, our senior day program keeps your family member active and using their brain every day. Our goal is to encourage the health of the whole person, mind, body and soul. Here are a few ways we work towards the goal of healthy brains for our seniors.

1. Hobbies

elderly couple on park swings holding handsWe have plenty of activities here for your family member to participate in. From board games to cards, puzzles to crafts and bingo as well, we keep their brain stimulated and moving.

Hobbies are important, both because of the mental capacity they take to do, as well as the passion involved in doing an activity you love and want to continue doing.

2. Field Trips

Besides games and hobbies, we also take occasional field trips to tons of fun places. Locations might be as simple as a trip to the park or a garage sale, to a longer trip to a museum, apple orchard or the mall.

It’s important for your family member to be outside, move around and experience a new environment. Hearing different sounds, seeing different sights and smelling different scents will both stimulate the brain with new experiences, while helping old memories come back even more vividly.

3. Exercise

Exercising the body is important to brain health as well. We take time every day for exercise, and have the training to adjust exercises to each person’s ability.

Every motion is controlled by the brain, so training the body to perform certain motions it’s not used to helps the brain re-activate pathways it may not have used in a long time. For the brain, exercise is invaluable to its continued health.

If mental stimulation could benefit your family member, contact us and we’d be happy to set up a visit for you at our senior day program in Sartell.