8.7. How to Avoid Depression on an Elderly or Dependent Person

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Take one, twice daily.


There is no a single formula for avoiding depression on your cared ones, but you can follow these suggestions that will certainly reduce the probability of suffering from depression. (Msoluciona, 2020)

Family support
Family plays a fundamental role in the daily life of the elderly, as they are at a stage of life where they are already more vulnerable, limited and dependent. In this sense, it is essential to listen to them and treat them with great affection. On many occasions, irritability and moodiness that arises in the elderly is given as a way to get attention, demanding affection. It is essential to spend time with them and make them feel motivated so that they can live old age naturally and with good humour.
Keep in touch with other elderly or dependent people
Many of them reach old age alone, having lost their spouse and without close family to be with or support them. Such deterioration of the person’s social and family environment is obviously detrimental to their psychological and emotional health. Therefore, interacting with other older adults is very beneficial to the emotional health of all of them, as they keep each other company and, in addition, they can discover all the concerns they share, such as feelings and problems.
Participation in recreational activities
To combat the symptoms of depression, it is highly advisable that they participate in leisure activities, such as gardening workshops, sewing, handicrafts, hobbies, memory exercises, that is, any activity that favours their sensory, emotional and mental stimulation.
Practising physical exercise
Physical exercise, two or three times a week, is beneficial to lift the mood and to improve the blood flow. When doing sports, endorphins are released and we feel relaxed and with a feeling of wellbeing. Make sure that your cared one goes for a walk or swim from time to time.
Following a good and balanced diet
There are a number of foods that, due to their components and properties, can prevent depression in older adults. For example: oily fish, oatmeal, brown rice and fruit rich in vitamin C such as lemon, orange and kiwi. It is also very beneficial to add ginger to our dishes, as it helps the brain to release endorphins. Remember that it is said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Going out and amusing
With good weather, it is essential for the elderly to go for a walk in green and sunny areas. The ultraviolet rays absorbed by our body cause us to generate serotonin, the hormone that makes us feel happier and more content. For this reason, it is essential to laugh every day, and to have a positive attitude.
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