Elderly Philadelphia residents are that much more likely to be depressed as the temperatures drop and the pandemic continues for the 20th straight month. However, there are some strategies that will help prevent a potentially crippling depression. If you are the child of a senior citizen and suspect depression is setting in, be proactive by implementing the depression prevention tips as detailed below.
Enjoy the Sunshine and Fresh Air
Too many seniors fall into the trap of spending the vast majority of their time indoors. Head outside, even if for a brief stroll, and enjoy the sunshine with your parent. If your parent has a friend, neighbor, or family member who lives nearby, the outdoor experience will lift his or her mood all the more if that individual is present.
Sunlight helps people cope with SAD, short for seasonal affective disorder, and also increases levels of the feel-good chemical referred to as serotonin. Even if you simply sit outside to drink your morning coffee with your mom or dad, the fresh air will help fight off potentially debilitating depression.
Form a Social Connection
Depression often results from spending too much time alone. Philadelphia seniors have spent countless hours alone during the pandemic. Encourage your parent to embrace the opportunity to form a friendship with a fellow senior, a caregiver, or even a dog or cat in need of a home. This social connection will improve his or her quality of life, providing something to look forward to, even if the interaction only occurs once or twice per week.
Regular physical exercise shifts your mind away from negativity to something much more constructive. Elderly individuals throughout Philadelphia who are frail, weak, or arthritic can still get in some light exercise with stretches, short walks, and simple household chores. Regular movement gets the blood flowing to the brain and lifts the spirit, helping your loved one avoid the dark pit of depression.
Eat the Right Foods
Resorting to alcohol, marijuana, and/or pain medication is not recommended, even if your parent is saddled by crippling depression. Instead of attempting the shortcut that is alcohol and drugs, encourage your loved one to alter his or her diet. Choose nutrient-packed foods and it won’t take long to feel better. Eliminate refined carbohydrates and sugar in favor of complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and dairy alternatives. A steady influx of healthy fats, high-quality protein, and greens will satiate you while also promoting emotional balance.
Coordinate Home Care Through Caring Family Home Health
Home care has the potential to prevent depression by providing a friend to talk to as well as ongoing assistance with the challenges of daily living. Our Philadelphia home care providers are here to help your parent get through this difficult time. If you suspect the senior in your life is feeling depressed, lonely, or needs assistance with daily living, reach out to us right away. You can contact our Philadelphia home care providers by phone at (844) 818-0039 or online through our contact form.