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How to alleviate senior loneliness and depression?

As human beings, we aspire to live a healthy and prosperous life. A proper balance must be maintained between physical and mental health. The process of aging starts from birth and continues throughout your lifecycle. In old age, adjusting to life changes becomes more crucial. This phase requires a person to be versatile and learn new skills to adapt to the changes in his or her life.

As you grow old, certain changes in your life may lead you to experience sadness and stress. This eventually makes you more vulnerable. Some events which make you feel anxious, uneasy, and unhappy are retirement from the job, passing away of a family member, or decline in your health. As a result, you feel lonely and depressed over a period of time. Depression might also occur as a side effect of certain medicines. Seniors are more prone as their body becomes less efficient at digesting and processing drugs.

Some signs and symptoms of depression in seniors are:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Sadness
  • Loss of interest
  • Unexplained aches
  • Feeling of helplessness
  • Memory issues

In the case of older adults, we sometimes overlook that they also might be dealing with loneliness and depression. It is important to alleviate such symptoms and help your loved ones enjoy their golden years. Let’s discuss some steps to help older adults cope with isolation and depression.

Learn new skills

The human brain never stops evolving. As an older adult, you too are capable to learn new things and adjust to changes that may help you cope with depression. It's nice to have something to keep you enthusiastic and look forward to on a regular basis, whether it's keeping a hobby or beginning a brand new one.

Learning new hobbies not only brings meaning and pleasure to life, but it also helps sustain your brain health and avoid mental decline.

Eat healthily

It can be hard to find the drive to do something when you're depressed - let alone look after your wellbeing and diet. Your health habits have a direct impact on your depression symptoms.

As a senior, changing your eating patterns may help you cope with the effects of depression. Cut back sugar and refined carbs. Instead, concentrate on quality protein and healthy fats. Add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. Wholesome meals provide you more energy and make you healthier. It also boosts your mood and self-esteem. Also, not eating for long may deteriorate your mood. You might feel exhausted and irritated. Try to consume something every 3-4 hours. When your body feels healthy, you feel better inside and out.

Stay connected

As people grow old, their level of social interaction decreases. This happens mostly due to lack of movement, retirement, and other factors that contribute to higher rates of social isolation.

An active social life not only improves the physical health, but also the mental and emotional well-being of a person. It becomes equally important for seniors to cope with loneliness and depression. Make it a habit to visit family and friends and take part in local community events.

The use of technology may also benefit seniors to stay connected and bring overall wellness. For example, using digital home assistant gadgets, with voice stimulated technology, may help you simplify your daily tasks.  Also, it’s never too late to build new relationships. You may also explore senior dating sites if you’re looking for companionship, friendship, or romantic relationship in life.

Exercise

Physical activity can work as a lifeguard for aging persons. It is a powerful treatment for depression. To reap the rewards, you don't have to go through a hard workout. Look for little ways to make your day more mobile. For instance, park your vehicle further away from the shop, climb the stairs, or do gardening.

This might help you stay fit both physically and mentally. You may also join classes on group exercise or yoga and make friends with like-minded people.

Ask for help

Don’t be ashamed to admit if you are feeling lonely and depressed. If you think the symptoms are severe and are getting out of control, seek professional help. Contact a mental health provider and sign up for therapy.

Counseling can relieve you from depression's isolation and hopelessness. Therapy may help you overcome traumatic changes in your life and recover from painful emotions. It can also help you alter negative thoughts and learn stronger coping skills. There are various support groups for depression, and they connect you with others who are facing similar challenges. You might feel comfortable to share your experiences and take advice.

Summary

The overall health and well-being of seniors may get affected by various activities and state of mind. Loneliness, along with other physical and mental issues, may give rise to feelings of depression. Taking action, and putting self-help measures into action, can be daunting when you're stressed. Often, it may seem exhausting to just think of the things you can do to feel better. However, small steps can make a huge difference in your life.

You can take several measures to cope with symptoms and deal with isolation and depression. This may make you feel optimistic and positive once again and appreciate your golden years, no matter what obstacles you face as you age.

Every individual has a different understanding of what adds meaning and purpose to life. The foremost thing is to find activities that are meaningful as well as fun to you. The more you nourish your soul, the healthier you feel.