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How In Home Care Can Help Fight Depression in Seniors

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September 14, 2016

How In Home Care Can Help Fight Depression in Seniors

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According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than 15 million American adults are affected by depression every year. As we age, certain changes in our lives can increase our risk for depression. In the same way, existing depression can be made worse by environmental changes.

For those of us with aging loved ones, choosing a home care service can be one of the best choices for their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Because, unfortunately, older generations were raised at a time when mental health issues were rarely discussed. That means many seniors suffer with depression in silence, unwilling or unable to ask for help.

An estimated 70% of seniors will require long-term care services, and most of those people (around 79%) live at home or in retirement communities, rather than institutions like nursing homes. For seniors, having to move to an unfamiliar place can be nothing short of traumatic, especially for those who suffer from tragically common memory diseases, like Alzheimer's. One out of every three seniors passes away from Alzheimer's or another form of dementia today, and it can be next to impossible for someone with Alzheimer's to feel safe and secure in a new and scary environment.

Even without a dementia-related disease, being forced to move into a nursing care facility can have serious emotional consequences. Being separated from family members and friends, as well as facing the loss of one's independence, can be particularly distressing. According to a 2011 study by the AARP, 90% of seniors want to remain in their homes as they age.

Although children may believe a nursing home is the best option, a home care service may present a better solution.

Depression in seniors can be difficult to detect, as certain symptoms of depression can mirror parts of the aging process or can be found in other diseases. But when you contract with home care services, highly skilled caregivers are able to discern the cause of these symptoms (like loss of appetite, fatigue, or sleep issues) and treat them accordingly. With in home care, patients are able to remain in a familiar place, spend time with family members, and do the activities they enjoy -- all of which are beneficial to managing depression.

In home caregivers not only provide help with treatments, medications, and physical aid, but they also provide necessary companionship and help both families and patients through a difficult transition. Being able to remain in a safe, beloved environment while receiving the healthcare they need is the ideal situation for many seniors. If you're interested in finding out more about our senior in home care or hospice care services, contact us for a consultation today.