Depression in the elderly is far more common than most people might believe.
There are various reasons as to why depression can occur but loneliness is often interconnected which is unsurprising as so many elderly people spend a great deal of time alone. Loneliness doesn’t always mean actually being alone. It’s possible to feel lonely even when there is a strong support system of family and friends. Changes to the family unit, to health or to circumstances can all trigger feelings of depression. It's true to say that a good home care service can make a positive difference to the client’s life.
Carers can help the client to retain a positive disposition, encouraging them to talk and to actively participate in life which helps them to retain that all-important independence. Everyone needs someone to turn to. After years of being a central part of family life, growing old can bring a great many changes. Sometimes, it can be the smallest of fears that impact the most and if the carer can listen to those fears and help to reassure, it can bring valued support. Home care services provide an important buffer for the client who suffers from low moods or who spends too much time on their own.
There are often indicators:
• The client stays in bed for longer
• There are changes to general routine
• The client appears to be introverted
• The client has less interest
• There are changes to mood or personality etc.
Impaired mobility, the loss of loved ones or increased health issues can all manifest feelings of fear, anxieties and of course, loneliness on a day-to-day basis. Loneliness is such a deeply personal experience and it is important for the carer to spot the signs and to help overcome these feelings before they escalate.
Loneliness can be very damaging and is typically associated with psychological stress, insomnia, or even mental health issues. Having a friendly face popping in regularly gives the client something to look forward to. It’s a chance to remain in their own home and to have a connection to the outside world, to understand what is going on locally and to still feel a part of the community. This is so important especially if the client is house-bound or too frail to leave the house. A carer can help to boost spirits and assist in improving their client’s sense of self-worth which may help them to retain a positive frame of mind and improve health generally.
For more information on how carers can reduce loneliness and depression in the elderly, contact The Great Care Company today.