Family members always have a lot of concerns when it comes to elderly loved ones, but often depression takes a back seat to physical issues. But, the fact is, depression affects 6 million Americans over age 65, and senior care services might be able to help.
Depression is not just an issue because it affects mental health. Depression makes it harder for seniors to stay healthy, and when they do have an issue such as a stroke or heart attack, depression can make recovery take longer.
Researchers at The University of Michigan surveyed over 11,000 adults over age 50 between 2004 and 2010. They collected information on social contacts during that time, and whether they were made over the phone, through mail, or in person. They found the adults who had face-to-face visits with friends and loved ones once or twice a week had the lowest chance of developing depression.
No one wants to see a loved one depressed, but it can be a particularly difficult problem in the elderly. Most seniors already take a variety of medications, and adding to that list because of depression increases the chance of drug interactions and side effects.
If you have a family member who lives alone, it’s important to make sure they have personal interaction several times a week. Sometimes they don’t express their loneliness, but a face-to-face visit is essential to mental health.
Family members may not be able to meet this social need on a consistent basis due to work schedules, other family responsibilities, or because they live out-of-town. But senior care services can step in and provide this kind of interaction to ensure your loved one is getting their social needs met.
Many people consider home care only when the elderly are ill and need help physically taking care of themselves, but it’s important to consider their mental health too. Caretakers become like family, and our clients look forward to seeing our staff, not just for the help they provide, but because it’s like having a visit with a friend. If you would like more information on senior care, contact us.