3 Ways To Care For Your Elderly Loved One's Mental Health
As people get older, loneliness can become a real problem in their lives. Friends and loved ones die; children and grandchildren grow up and become focused on their own lives. These things, coupled with a loss of mobility, can make elderly people depressed. Luckily, you can help alleviate these despondent feelings. Here are three ways you can help your elderly loved one feel cherished:
1. Visit regularly.
Sometimes having company is the best medicine. An easy way you can help your elderly relative feel loved is to visit as often as you can. Care.com suggests visiting in the morning, if possible, since that's when senior citizens tend to have the most energy. Don't worry about helping with chores while you're there. Although physical assistance is always welcome, what seniors need most is human interaction. Listening to what your loved one has to say and treating them like a valued family member is the best thing you can do for them.
2. Help them get into a senior care home.
Understandably, many seniors want to maintain their independence for as long as possible. There are many misconceptions about senior care homes that can prevent people from wanting to go there. In reality, these homes are places that help seniors maintain their independence by taking care of the parts of daily life that can be tricky as they get older. A senior care home will provide delicious, nutritious meals and help to monitor your loved one's health. However, the biggest benefit of is the ability to socialize with other people their age. Especially for people who can no longer drive, senior care homes are a great way to fight isolation. Your loved one will be able to participate in a community and partake in many fun activities.
3. Encourage counseling if needed.
It's natural to feel sad sometimes, especially when you're lonely, but sometimes it's not just a fleeting emotion. If you're concerned that your loved one might be depressed, encourage them to talk to their doctor about it. Their doctor can refer them to a therapist or even a psychiatrist who can prescribe medication if necessary. Some older people are resistant to the idea of getting treatment for mental illness, so do your best to encourage them to get help. Fortunately, may senior care homes have counselors available who can assist with issues such as depression or anxiety.
Mental health is so important at every age. By spending time with your elderly loved one and encouraging them to get senior care, you can help them maintain a positive outlook on life.