5 Strategies for Overcoming Depression and Isolation in Seniors
Depression is a debilitating mental condition that affects around 350 million people worldwide, according to the WHO. Even though depression can strike at any age, there are more triggers during the senior years including feelings of isolation. However, there are strategies that can be put in place to help alleviate the symptoms and in many cases overcome depression.
Having a Sense of Purpose
When retirement hits and senior living takes over, it often brings a loss of purpose in life because there’s no work commitment to focus time and energy. Even though this leaves plenty of time to explore hobbies, and passions, and tick items off the bucket list, it can leave a hole that feels impossible to fill, which is when depression comes knocking.
To reclaim a sense of purpose, enrich life with hobbies like gardening and knitting. Alternatively, the structure offered by work can be achieved through doing voluntary work.
Mindfulness is all about bringing the mind into the present and overcoming negative thoughts, which is why it’s extremely beneficial when it comes to beating depression. During a meditative state, the mind has the power to look at negative thoughts like “What’s the point anymore?” without taking it as 100% truth, and then it can begin to replace these thoughts with more positive takes on life.
Moving into a Senior Living Community
Severe loneliness welcomes many health conditions including depression, and experiencing old age without close family and friends around is the perfect recipe for it. To get away from the isolation and take back control, it’s a good idea to move into a senior living community, which means living closer to other people.
The type of senior facility will depend on the needs of each person. For example, if they aren’t able to get through the day alone because of health conditions, then assisted living will be the best option. However, if they are still in control but could benefit from being in a purpose-built home, then independent living is what they need to explore.
Keeping Physically Active
There is a lot of evidence out there to suggest that being active is a complete game changer when it comes to old age. Low-impact exercises like climbing the stairs, walking, swimming, and cycling can help strengthen the body as well as the mind. As well as this, group sessions like tai chi and yoga are fantastic places to meet new friends and say goodbye to loneliness.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Food gives the body the nutrients it needs to function, repair itself, and maintain strength including protecting the mind and influencing emotions. However, the following types of food need to be a staple in the diet:
- Fruit and vegetables.
- Lean protein.
- Whole grains.
- low-fat dairy products.
Dealing with loneliness and depression during old age isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be allowed complete control. By integrating the strategies outlined above, any senior can battle depression and hopefully overcome it completely.