depression in senior citizens

As we move through life and aging takes effect, it can be difficult to cope with the changes that come our way. For the elderly, getting older is too often symbolic of negative things that we would rather not be reminded of. We all go through hard things during our lifetime: and by the time we’ve reached old age, it can all become a little bit more than we can handle. For this reason, a lot of elderly people don’t even realize they’ve been battling with depression, and even if they do realize it, they more than likely feel helpless to the disease.

Lend a Hand

It’s much easier on the elderly individuals that are still able to care for themselves, but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t still be suffering below the surface. There’s no way to know exactly what will relieve each individual sufferer, but there are little things you can do to reassure them and make them aware that you are there to help.

  • Remain present in their lives. There’s no denying the fact that time flies and you won’t always be able to keep in touch with the people who mean a lot to you. Reach out to the older or elderly people that you know might be all alone. Just giving them a quick phone call or sending them a card from time to time is a nice way to let them know you think about them. If they are commuter literate and on social media, use it as this can help with depression.  Or if they are not using social media perhaps give them a lesson. You can read more about how social media can be beneficial to seniors here.
  • Offer to help out when you can. If your older aunt’s husband passed away last year, it would be nice of you to find out if she’s got a way to get to and from her doctor’s appointments. If there are elderly folks in your neighborhood that don’t have many visitors, drop by every once in a while to make sure things are going fine.
  • Get them out of the house! Anyone is bound to go a little stir crazy if they constantly sit in the house. Help them get out—even if you’re just going to the front porch—for a nice change of scenery every once in a while. Short, low-energy trips are very nice every now and again.

Sometimes, we won’t always be able to help another sufferer or ourselves, but making an effort still counts for something. Older people usually have a lot of wisdom to share, and they can be extremely insightful if you spend a little bit of time with them. Simple things make them happy, and they would almost always rather be surrounded by friends and family at their lowest points.

Be patient with them, and try to understand their situation before judging them or becoming insensitive with your words. Older people can feel abandoned by those around them in some instances, and it can mean a whole lot when someone decides to step in and show concern for their situation. We all know how nice it is to have a friend around to listen when we need somebody to talk to. Even if it doesn’t seem like a lot to you, you could be truly changing the life of that person!