Assisted Living Can Help Your Elderly Parent Manage Depression

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It's easy to feel lost when you see your elderly parent struggling with depression. Whether he or she has recently lost a spouse, is battling an illness, or is simply depressed about aging, it's easy for senior citizens to feel depressed. While you should always do your best to ensure that your parent is receiving professional medical care for this condition, you can also think about ways that you can help. If it's clear that your parent is no longer enjoying living alone, which can often occur after the death of a spouse, moving your loved one into an assisted living center may help. Here are some ways that this change in environment can help someone with depression.

Activities To Keep Busy

When elderly people live alone, they may not experience much stimulation on any given day. This won't be the case when your parent relocates to an assisted living home. These facilities have ample opportunities for keeping busy, whether it's joining a daily card game, taking a group outing, or joining a walking group with other residents. While keeping busy may not necessarily cure depression on its own, it can be valuable for elevating your parent's mood.

Encounters With New Friends

Many elderly people can feel isolated, especially if they're recently lost their spouse or if they no longer drive. The latter can limit someone's ability to get together with friends, leading to further feelings of isolation that may worsen depression. Feelings of isolation won't likely be an issue for your parent upon his or her relocation to assisted living. In this new environment, your parent will have the chance to meet a number of people of a similar age who may share common interests. Additionally, many may have recently lost a spouse or be feeling isolated, allowing for common ground to be shared as friendships grow.

On-Site Mental Health Professionals

Assisted living facilities have on-site medical professionals, including those who specialize in mental health. This means that if your parent needs someone to talk to about his or her depression, there will always be a trained professional ready to lend an ear. Additionally, these professional can assess your parent's mental health to determine if he or she needs changes to the medication that is currently being taken for depression. Assisted living homes will often have staff who can take residents to appointments with their family doctor, too, to ensure that everything possible is being done to help with the depression.

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26 May 2017

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