Senior Citizens and Depression: How Can You Help?
February 11, 2013
How can you help seniors with depression?
I know I’m guilty of not always remembering the trials and tribulations senior citizens (usually those over 65 but sometimes younger) may encounter. But depression among seniors is a reality.
- You’ve retired or been forced to stop working because of illness, a lay off or downsizing, etc.
- You want to retire but are afraid of the financial ramifications (or the healthcare costs).
- If you are retired, you don’t necessarily get out of bed at 6 a.m. anymore to go to an office filled with people (even if you don’t always like the people you work with, co-workers really are a family, a social network of sorts)
- If you are retired, you are probably on a very fixed income. I know those of us who work are on fixed incomes, but we can do things to make more money (work overtime, get bonuses, get other jobs/sources of income.) But retired seniors are often relying on checks from pensions and social security, praying hard not to have an incident that requires more than their monthly budget.
- As a senior—especially in this country—you are probably taking some form of medicine and the small print probably lists depression as a side effect.
- If you’re not taking care of a loved one, you may feel as if you are not needed.
- If you are taking care of a loved one, you may feel worn out, burnt out, saddened because of the loved ones illness.
- You could be mourning the death of a loved one. You can feel like a burden to your relatives, even your own adult children who have commitments of their own.
Yes, depression among seniors is real. So how can you help?
Think about the seniors in your life and find ways to include them in your activities regularly. Invite them over for dinner, cook a meal and eat it with them, take them to a restaurant, or pick them up for church.
Share life with them. Share stories of your kids, give details about your day. In other words, treat them like you treat any other friend. Share with them.
Remember to also treat seniors with respect and not like they are children. In fact you might ask their advice or ask them to tell you about a time they had to deal with an issue you’re dealing with. They may enjoy sharing wisdom with you.
You will be blessed and so will your senior.
How do you help the seniors in your life? Leave a comment and share.