The Powerful Benefits of At-Home Care for Seniors With Depression

One of the biggest reasons families opt for at-home care for seniors over residential care homes is the independence it provides. Hiring a personal support worker who makes home visits allows the senior a cherished measure of control over his or her life.

Unfortunately, living at home does come with a potential drawback: isolation.

We often think of depression as an affliction of the young. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Depression is a persistent problem in our elderly population, and it can have life-changing effects on a senior’s overall health and wellbeing.

And it’s not just the seniors themselves who suffer. According to the Right At Home home care agency, one person’s depression can easily affect entire families.

Between 10 and 15% of seniors in Canada suffer from depression. It’s especially pervasive with women over 65, whose rate of depression is double that of Canadian senior men, and for those seniors who live alone.

But there are powerful ways to provide comfort and healing for depression through at-home care for seniors.

Benefits of At-Home Care for Seniors With Depression

  • Help Seniors Make Connections – Leaving the house to connect with friends and family is important for seniors. At-home care workers can facilitate this by taking care of transportation and accompanying the senior to ensure safety and comfort.
  • Get Them Moving – Although exercise is far from a magic cure for depression, it can help a great deal in managing the symptoms. A care professional can plan an exercise routine that is appropriate for the senior’s level of mobility.
  • Keep Things In Order – The space around you can have a big effect on your mood. Keeping the house clean and organized can do a lot to help lift a senior’s spirits.
  • Manage Medication – If the senior has been prescribed medication for depression, a care worker can make sure the senior takes it.
  • Socialize – Sometimes, a sympathetic ear is all it takes to get through a difficult day. Compassionate care workers will take time to engage seniors in conversation and give them a shoulder to cry on.

Does Your Elderly Family Member Have Depression?

If you’ve noticed your senior loved one showing signs of isolation and depression, it may be time to connect with an at-home care agency.

Home care starts with a conversation. But how do you broach the subject? Many families aren’t sure where to begin.

As stated in the Right At Home home care agency’s Right Conversations guide, not everyone feels comfortable initiating a conversation about at-home care. However, the agency offers the following practical tips:

  • Go into the conversation with accurate, relevant information about your loved one’s condition.
  • Decide how much concern the situation warrants.
  • Review the facts and avoid your personal biases. Understand that there may be personal feelings involved, but that the conversation shouldn’t be about judgement.
  • Involve the rest of your family. It’s important that the person’s other relatives understand how serious the situation is an have their opportunity to speak. It’s possible they have information you don’t have.
  • Plan the conversation out in advance, with realistic goals and key messages.

There are other tips available on the Right At Home home care

Fall Exercises

The gym is an excellent place to exercise and a wonderful way to meet new friends and fitness partners. However, do not forget to enjoy physical activity in the great outdoors. If you live in a part of the country where winter is too cold to comfortably exercise, you should try to take advantage of the hospitable fall weather while it is still here.

Here are some exercises that you can enjoy while taking in those wonderful autumn colours:

Walking and hiking

There is nothing wrong with walking or running on an indoor track at the gymnasium, but it does not compare to observing the natural beauty of nature this time of year. Get out to your favourite trail and bring a friend.

Running and biking

Whether you want a short jaunt or a long trip, going for a run or bike ride this time of year is an excellent idea. The sun is not as intense and you often get a nice cool breeze to keep you from overheating.

Go for Extended Dog Walks

I do not have to tell you how much our canine friends love to go for a walk. With winter coming soon, those walks and get shorter and shorter. In fact, most last no longer than the time it takes for them to do their business. The weather is lovely right now, and your dog will love being out in it, so take the time to go for a few extended walks. You will both benefit and enjoy it.

Rake those leaves

As lovely as they are, it is a good idea to remove leaves from your lawn. Rather than paying the local children to do it for you, grab a rake and have at it. It provides an excellent, low impact form of exercise than anyone can do.

Healthy Eating is Key When You Want to Lose Weight

Many people out there want to lose weight, but they often do not understand the best way of going about it. Exercise is a crucial part of weight loss, but many people think that if they exercise a lot, they can continue to eat whatever they want and in whatever quantity they wish. That is simply not the case: exercise and proper eating go hand-in-hand when it comes to successful weight loss plans.

If you have been exercising regularly and not seeing the results you want, here are some tips on how you can help to rectify that by also concentrating on your diet:

Be careful about what you eat

Concentrate on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, lean meats, and fibre foods, while avoiding excessive amounts of sugar, saturated and trans fats, and refined grains.

Watch those portion sizes

Even if you think you are eating healthy, you can still eat too much. Be sure to pay attention to the calorie information provided on the product label and read it carefully. Make sure that the information you are looking at applies to one serving and know just how much they consider one serving to be. A single package of something does not necessarily constitute one serving: it could actually be three or four.

Practice calorie counting

It may seem like a pain to keep track of what you are eating, but it is actually now easier than ever, thanks to apps like Lose It. There is some initial setup, but once you are going, it is very easy to stay on top of how much are consuming each day and how many calories you are taking in. You can tell immediately from the app whether you are on the verge of going over for that day. The app also includes a bar code scanner, which makes data even faster and easier.

The Benefits of Pilates

You’ve probably heard the term Pilates, but have you ever tried it? Pilates has many benefits for the body, no matter what your age or occupation. Here are just a few of them:

Benefits Your Core

Your core is the center of your body; a strong core is very desirable because it means less work and strain on your neck and back, two areas that trouble many people.

Increase Your Flexibility

Even if you have no desire to be a gymnast, it is very good to be as flexible as your body permits. The additional flexibility you get with Pilates means a greater range of movement and less chance of injury and pain.

Decreases Stiffness

Do you have a sedentary job where you spend most of the day sitting in front of a computer? I’ll bet you find yourself feeling incredibly stiff at various points in the day. Human beings were not designed to spend so much of their lives in a stationary position. Attending a Pilates class, even just once a week, can be incredibly helpful in reducing this stiffness and goes a long way in improving your quality of life.

One of the main advantages Pilates offers is that it strengthens and elongates your muscles. This helps your joint mobility and makes your muscles more elastic and flexible. This means less chance of discomfort or debilitating injury.

Increase Your Strength

Your core is not the only body part that benefits from Pilates. Most exercises also make use of your arms and legs, building up muscles in these important areas as well.

A Well-Conditioned Body

Everyone desires a lean, strong, well-conditioned body. That sort of physique means that you are capable of easily enjoying and excelling in many sports, as well as just being able to handle the demands of everyday life with greater ease.

Exercise for Seniors

Exercise is a benefit for anyone of any age, but the type and duration can vary, depending upon that person’s period of life, abilities, and goals. Many people don’t realize that seniors should also exercise regularly, but it can be more of a challenge for them. due to the physical limitations brought about by age.

Fortunately, most of those obstacles can be avoided simply by choosing the correct activity. Here are some low-impact exercises well-suited to those in their golden years:

Walking

The most basic exercise around, walking requires no special equipment, no gym time (as long as the sidewalks are clear and the weather is OK), and no advance planning.

Make sure that you have a comfortable pair of running or walking shoes well-suited to your feet, and be sure to do some stretching beforehand. Start with a short duration and gradually work your way up.

Swimming

Hitting the pool can be beneficial for seniors because swimming is very low-impact, but so good for your joints. It also helps to improve flexibility and endurance.

Ride a Bike

Getting on a bicycle is great for both getting you outside and enhancing joint health. If the weather is bad or you are intimidated by traffic, a stationary exercise bike is just as effective.

Lifting Weights

The goal here is not to become ripped, but to increase your strength and benefit your overall health. Start with small weights and gradually up the amount and the time you spend with them.

Yoga

Don’t worry: you don’t have to be super flexible to do yoga. Even only slight amounts of bending will help with strength, endurance, and balance.

Tai Chi

Here is another low-impact pursuit that is excellent for balance, flexibility, and strength. There are over 100 moves to perform in tai chi, but don’t worry if you can’t remember them: just copy what everyone else is doing! They won’t mind.