Depression affects millions of Americans, and elderly residents in nursing homes are more likely to suffer from it. The depressive episodes and other symptoms elderly patients experience while in a nursing home can leave them feeling hopeless, isolated, or uninterested in life. However, effectively coping with depression is not impossible if they make the right behavioral or meditative changes. Additionally, if you are a loved one, you are in the best position to Help Nursing Home Residents recover from depression.
Here are eight things you can do to Help Nursing Home Residents:
- Don’t Give Up On Them- Help Nursing Home Residents
A frequent visit can be helpful if your loved one isn’t receiving proper care in the nursing home. The neglect and abuse nursing home residents experience on a regular basis contributes significantly to their depression. Sometimes it is easy to overlook the neglect and abuse as it is not always visible to visitors. As a loved one, it is your responsibility to keep an eye out for the warning signs and symptoms of abuse so you can take action against it.
While depression is associated with aging for a number of reasons, you should be aware that depression among nursing home residents is also a warning sign of abuse, including physical, verbal, and psychological abuse. In the event that your loved one begins to experience depression and you suspect that it is because of abuse, let the authorities know right away. Involve a nursing home abuse lawyer, so he or she can intervene and bring justice to the elderly. The best way to help your loved one recover strength to stand up to mistreatment is to choose knowledgeable, compassionate representation.
- Give Them A Recollections Of The Past
Depression can make one feel as though it has sapped the excitement and robbed them of their zest for life. In nursing homes, there are many elderly people who, due to their advancing age, find that happy, warm, and cherished memories are an effective medicine for treating depression. So on your visits, if you take a box of old family photos with you or recollect some wonderful memories that you have with them, you can drastically transform their mood. When you do this frequently, you will be able to create a collection of happy, safe memories for them to draw from and benefit from in the future.
- Visit Them Frequently
Taking the time to visit your elderly loved one frequently will help reduce depression, even if you’re only able to visit for an hour or so each time. Understanding what the nursing homes’ visiting hours are and the rules associated with visits can be a bit more challenging in the age of Covid. Make sure that you take the time to check in with the facility or review these figures carefully while you’re there. Nursing home residents benefit from frequent visits in several ways, including:
- It allows them to socialize
- It shows them that you care about them.
- It stimulates their brain activity.
- It shows them that they are still valued
The stimulation they receive from the visits is crucial to their mental health and will keep them stable for a while.
- Help Them Engage In Mentally Stimulating Hobbies
Your loved ones cannot always count on you to be there for them when they are depressed. Developing hobbies that keep their minds active can act as a powerful weapon to fight depression. The role you can play here is to help them develop hobbies that will keep their minds active. Your help will also inspire them to continue with the activity.
Even though nursing home residents are unable to do much physical labor, they can still participate in hobbies such as photography and drawing. By identifying where your loved one’s interests lie, you will be able to decide what hobby is right for them. They can also experience physical symptoms of depression if they do not take care of their mental health properly.
- Arrange A Movie Night Or A Musical Event
A movie or piece of music can evoke nostalgic memories. It is especially common for elderly people to have an abundance of amazing music and movies that they have lived through over the years. You can create wonderful, energy-filled investigations into your loved one’s past by arranging a program of music or movies to watch during your next visit. You can even find new ways to motivate them to engage in old hobbies or take on other depression-fighting tasks as they recount their memories of the moves or music.
- Make Sure They’re Actively Mingling With Other Community Members
The best nursing homes plan community events that allow their patients to make new memories while bonding with one another. It is especially important to provide your elderly loved one with this sense of connection during the initial transition into a new home. Even if they have been a patient for some time, engaging in community service can provide them with great joy, which in turn can help them fight depression.
- Surprise Them With Unexpected Visitors
It makes your loved one’s day extra-special if you visit them frequently, but if you surprise them with a special visit from someone special, this is sure to make their day even better. When it comes to planning a surprise guest, knowing how to arrange it in such a way that your loved one won’t notice is important because the surprise part is especially helpful in improving their mood and bringing back wonderful memories. Reminiscing about the past and the pleasure of seeing the surprise visitor at the time will significantly help alleviate depression. If you’re able to pull off this trick, you can even help them step out of the nursing house for some time to a dinner or a family gathering. A visit outside can prove to be helpful after they have been inside for a long time.
- Don’t Forget Medical Care
Last but not least, medication can be a life-saving treatment for depression in elderly individuals. As we age, many people develop clinical depression, so it’s important to know how to treat it both medically and behaviorally. In addition to treating depression, medications that improve energy levels, help them stay focused, and motivate them to do something productive may also be helpful. Your elderly loved one will feel younger and more energetic than they have in years with the right medication.
For people suffering from extra-depression, giving up hope is easy. You can help your loved ones through difficult times by being there for them during depressive episodes or periods. Each of the above remedies will help them deal with their depression. It will also strengthen your relationship with them.
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