Millions of seniors are currently living with depression. Many have yet to be diagnosed and receive treatment because their symptoms have gone unnoticed. As such, they’re suffering in silence and not receiving the care they need to deal with depression and its many ill effects. Many people think depression consists of occasional bouts of sadness, but it runs far deeper than that.
This condition can have a profound impact on a person’s life while increasing the risks of many other problems along the way. At the same time, many of the health effects of other medical conditions can further increase the risk of developing depression.
What Is Clinical Depression?
Almost everyone experiences extreme sadness at times. For elderly people who are suffering from chronic pain, limited mobility, and other health issues, being sad from time to time may seem like a normal occurrence. Having said that, depression goes well beyond being downhearted and discouraged on occasion. It’s a widely recognized mental disorder that affects more than 280 million people across the globe. It’s particularly common among senior citizens, but studies are showing that senior living communities may help combat its effects.
Clinical depression includes prolonged bouts of sadness, hopelessness, and other negative feelings. It’s also characterized by a loss of interest in activities its victims once enjoyed. Those suffering from depression may withdraw from the people they love and become detached from the world around them. They may sleep too much or too little. Loss of concentration is also common among those who are living with depression.
Since some of those symptoms are often associated with aging, dementia, and other conditions, they tend to be overlooked in senior citizens. That makes elderly people even more vulnerable to the effects of depression. This condition isn’t something people can forge through on their own. That’s especially true for senior citizens who live alone and are isolated from the outside world. They’re generally the ones hit the hardest by depression as well as the ones who don’t have access to the treatments they need to overcome it.
How Does Assisted Living Help Seniors with Depression?
That brings us to the ways an assisted living community in West Hills, CA, can help seniors living with depression. Their caregivers, physicians, and nurses are always available to residents. That ensures residents receive the care and assistance they need. It also greatly increases the chances of the warning signs of depression being noticed and addressed if they arise. Detection and treatment are essential for overcoming depression rather than allowing it to overcome its victims.
Preventing Isolation and Encouraging Socialization
Assisted living homes also help seniors battle depression by eliminating isolation and encouraging socialization. Seniors are affected by isolation more than many people realize, their loved ones included. Depression generates more than a general sense of loneliness. It can cause seniors to feel like they no longer have a purpose in life. They often feel unloved and abandoned. That further increases their risk of developing depression.
On top of that, isolation can cause a long list of additional problems. Depression may lead to declining health, increased blood pressure, and weight gain, to name a few effects. It also increases the likelihood of developing dementia. Many isolated seniors who suffer from depression fail to eat. Some have essentially starved themselves to death out of despair.
In assisted living homes, seniors are in the company of others. They have a chance to mingle with their neighbors and make new friends. They also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in various activities. Caregivers keep watch over their residents to make sure they’re engaging in activities and socializing. Those are effective tools in the battle against the effects of depression.
Providing Specialized Care
Assisted living communities likewise provide specialized care for their residents. Their services and treatments are made according to the needs of each individual, ensuring all residents get the care they need to remain happy and healthy. These communities can provide care for chronic conditions, treatment for depression, and memory care for seniors among many other options.
Making Life Better for Seniors
At Fallbrook Glen of West Hills, we offer the full range of senior care for our residents. From minor assisted living to memory care and beyond, we strive to meet the needs of all those in our community. We have spacious apartments, laundry and housekeeping services, wonderful dining and socialization opportunities, and many other amenities for seniors.
While depression has become all too common among senior citizens, it doesn’t have to be detrimental. Treatments are available, and assisted living communities provide a range of benefits to help keep its effects at bay. With exercise programs, outings, social events, treatments for all types of medical conditions, and many other solutions, assisted living communities can help overcome depressed senior citizens and live life to the fullest.