More than two million senior citizens in the United States suffer from depression, according to a recent report from the National Institute of Mental Health. Medical experts remind us that this figure only reflects the number of cases that are detected. Many more most likely go unnoticed, leaving countless people suffering alone with no help in sight. While depression isn’t necessarily an inevitable part of the aging process, certain aspects of growing older can make seniors more susceptible to the condition. Studies show that assisted living can help keep those factors in check and reduce the risks of depression.
Research has proven that isolation is a major risk factor for depression among senior citizens. People need social connections, but those often fall by the wayside in our later years. Friends move or pass away, and family members are often too busy to spend as much time with their aging loved ones as they’d like.
At the same time, many senior citizens live alone due to the passing of a spouse. Losing a life partner can bring about depression in its own right, but the dangers of developing this condition are even more prominent for seniors who are left alone as a result.
Overall, seniors are more likely to become isolated. In turn, they’re more prone to depression and all the additional issues that come along with it. Moving to assisted living homes can help keep seniors from suffering the effects of isolation. These communities ensure seniors are in the company of other people in their age group. They plan social events, outings, and other opportunities for socialization. Additionally, staff members are available to provide residents with care and compassion. Still, they have privacy when they need or want it.
Studies have established a significant link between depression and a lack of physical activity. Exercise can improve a person’s state of mind, increase energy levels, lead to better sleep, and avoid a range of health issues. Being physically inactive, on the other hand, raises the risks of low energy, insomnia, and numerous medical conditions. In turn, all those factors increase the risk of depression.
Senior living communities strive to keep their residents active. They offer a variety of exercise programs to help keep seniors moving, and they make sure those programs accommodate a range of needs and limitations. Assisted living communities also offer outings to further encourage physical activity and engagement. They plan field trips and other types of activities around the diverse interests of their residents, so there are bound to be activities and outings that appeal to everyone.
General and Specialized Medical Care
Aging tends to bring on a long list of medical conditions. On the more minor end of the spectrum, aches, pains, reduced mobility, digestive issues, changes in sleep habits, and other issues often become worse than they are in a person’s younger years. Being in constant pain and suffering from ongoing medical problems alone can certainly lead to depression.
Furthermore, hearing loss can drive seniors to withdraw from the world around them. Arthritis often grows worse, preventing senior citizens from being as active as they once were. Changes in vision and loss of coordination also exacerbate the situation, and those are only a few issues seniors might be forced to contend with. Memory loss and various forms of dementia also enter the mix.
In an assisted living community in Redding, CA, seniors have access to all the health care they need. That includes generalized care, but it also transcends well beyond the basics. Senior living communities likewise provide memory care and cater to a range of additional specialized mental and physical health needs. Residents can take advantage of well-rounded medical care right at their fingertips.
Keeping Your Senior Loved Ones Happy and Healthy
Sundial Assisted Living is always there to help seniors. And their families overcome depression as well as other mental and physical health issues. We encourage independence while providing all the care and assistance our residents need to enjoy happy, healthy lives. We offer an array of outings, social events, and other activities for our full-time residents as well as our respite care guests. Those in our community also have access to expert health care. Delicious and nutritious meals, and all the amenities of home.
Life changes as people age no matter how diligent they are with their health care. Or how hard they try to maintain a daily routine. Many of the factors that arise later in life contribute to depression, making seniors far more vulnerable to this condition and its effects than most people realize. Assisted living communities to help residents combat all those factors, reducing the risk of depression and greatly increasing your senior loved one’s quality of life.