Techniques for Dealing with Depression Naturally
Dealing with depression in elderly people can be challenging, but with the right support, anything is possible. Late-life depression is extremely common but only a small proportion of those who are depressed receive treatment. That’s because the symptoms of depression are sometimes confused with the effects of medicines used to treat various ailments. Many people don’t realize they are depressed or fail to see a doctor and get a proper diagnosis.
So one of the best things you can do for your elderly loved one is to get a doctor to screen for depression.
The causes of depression can include stroke, TBI [Traumatic Brain Injury], Parkinson’s disease, dementia or chronic pain. Isolation in your own home and lack of contact with friends and family often makes matters worse.
Depression can slow down rehabilitation and raise the risk of cardiac failure, or even suicide. So, it’s important to try to tackle it head on.
Doctors often prescribe sedating antidepressants to help tackle insomnia as a way of dealing with depression. But medication alone is only part of the answer. Some medications may also react with existing medication or have serious side effects.
Techniques that can help dealing with depression
Cognitive behavior therapy can help you redefine your sense of purpose. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there by making step-by-step positive choices. A person’s mood can be improved if they can be persuaded to think positively and dispel negative thoughts.
Physical therapy: Gentle exercise, especially continuous rhythmic exercise, can keep mind and body in trim, and relieve depression. Getting into a physical exercise routine is important for overall well-being. Physical therapy is also vital for those recovering from some operations. Steady physical improvements can help lift depression.
Recreation therapy: It’s important to have fun with other people, watch a film with others, or enjoy a meal out together. Many elderly people derive a lot of pleasure from singalongs, with music bringing back memories of the `good old days’.
Focusing on the body’s movements, such as in yoga exercises, can help people stop brooding or thinking only negative thoughts. Relaxation techniques, including breathing exercises, can calm you down and relieve stress.
Activities such as art and craft, painting or dancing, especially while socializing with others, is another anti-depression technique. The act of creating something is very therapeutic.
Stroking or playing with a pet, such as a cat or dog, can be very relaxing and soothing. It’s a way of getting closer to nature, of which we are all a part.
Social interaction: Being single, unmarried, divorced, or widowed, or lacking a supportive social network, can raise the risk of depression. Many elderly people fall into this category, for example because their spouse has died. So every effort should be made to keep them talking, smiling and interacting with others. Social interaction and meeting new friends is an important element in dealing with depression.
Psychotherapy or counseling one-on-one can be enormously helpful, especially to those who have lost their loved ones. Having someone to talk to intimately about their condition can also be beneficial. It can help relieve stress and keep people focused on positive thoughts. Psychotherapy can also help those who cannot take drugs for whatever reason.
Involvement in self-help and social support groups is very beneficial too. People can talk about their concerns, share their views, and get help. Social group discussions on culture and self-growth can be very helpful to people with cognitive impairment.
Finally, if possible, spend time in nature, get a daily dose of sunlight, and eat a healthy diet.
Fairview Adult Day Care in Brooklyn is a place where elderly people as well as people with TBI can easily deal with depression. We are warm and welcoming and provide friendly recreation activities like music and games. Our social and entertainment programs help foster a lively and cheerful atmosphere. We offer beautiful surroundings and compassionate nursing care.
Get a one-day free trial: Phone (718) 251-5600. Open every day except Saturday. We are conveniently located in Brooklyn.