Depression in the elderly is real. Suicide rates are almost double in the elderly community compared to those who are younger. Depression can actually become worse with age. Also, depression is known to increase other health problems such as cardiac illness, stroke, insomnia, cancer, and dementia.
The human body is interconnected with the mind and emotions. You cannot separate one from the other at any point in time. If you are physically sick, you may become more depressed. If you are depressed, you may become ill in both body and spirit.
Here are some tips to help your elderly loved one. If you are elderly and reading this, please incorporate the following tips into your life. If you need help in doing so, show a loved one this article, and please ask for help.
7 Ways to Treat Depression in the Elderly
Exercise. Exercise is a great way to socialize with others and it also increases endorphin release. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain relievers and feel good chemicals.
Sleeping Well. Without enough deep sleep, it’s easy to slip into a state of depression. The elderly need between 6 and 8 hours of sleep per night. If they have trouble falling or staying asleep, they may want to wear an eye mask, or drink some warm milk before bed. Sleepy time tea is a natural option that works fantastic!
Counseling. Emotional pain will always catch up to a person. If pain is not dealt with in earlier life, when you reach a certain age, it will have already built up to a dangerous level and must be dealt with. Seeing a counselor regularly can help to release those pent up emotions and release depression.
Have Fun. Going out with family and friends helps to alleviate depression and sadness. Go see a flick together and eat at a nice restaurant once a month. Put it on the schedule for the person to see.
Meditation. Meditation helps to clear the mind continually, relaxes the body, and increases oxygen intake. With increased oxygen intake, debilitating toxins are then released, and the mind and emotions become stronger.
Humor/Laughter. Laughter is truly the best medicine. The more you laugh on purpose, the less bitter and depressed you will be overall. Watch comedies, go to comedy shows with friends, and be silly. Not only will this help treat depression in the elderly, but it will cause one to feel younger in spirit.
Eating Right. The foods we eat have a direct affect on how we feel everyday. If you are eating lots of fattening, sugary foods, the body will reject it in many ways -including the emotions. Everything works together in tandem, and everything that the body receives, the brain and emotions receive as well.
The elderly must want to get better – we cannot force them to find healing. It would be in their best benefit to find treatment for depression as it is directly linked with other sicknesses and diseases. The sooner the depression is treated, the better they will feel in every area of life, including the way they feel physically.