For many older people, especially those in poor health or living alone, the onset of depression can be severe. However, by maintaining positive mental and physical health, coupled with adequate support from family and friends, older people can continue to lead happy, fulfilling lives long past the age of retirement.
Seniors may find it hard to acclimatize to having an abundance of spare time on their hands, which could lead to boredom. The best way of maintaining happiness through retirement is to keep occupied as much as possible, whether that’s through joining a social group or giving your time to volunteering. Even if the person doesn’t have the physical capacity to do either of these, they could concentrate on a new hobby which doesn’t necessitate leaving the house.
Good physical health reduces depression in older people
Maintaining good physical health will manifest itself in feeling happy and fulfilled mentally therefore will reduce depression in older people. Even mild daily exercise like a 15-minute walk or some light yoga will keep an older person in great shape, while it’s recommended to keep as healthy a diet as possible. These will all complement one another perfectly to result in a physically flourishing and mentally strong senior citizen.
While these are all actions that the older person can take, their happiness will most likely be enhanced by renewed support from family and friends. The older person would probably accept an invitation to an adult son or daughter’s house once a week. All the more so if the younger adult gets involved in an activity with them. This can help to reinforce the bond between them and gives the older person something to which they’ll eagerly look forward every week.
Growing old does not need to automatically mean sinking into a depressing, morose retirement. Rather, it can be a time spent on enjoying the finer aspects of life and cherishing moments spent with family and friends. It could even help an older person to add a few extra years to their life thanks to the preservation of thriving mental and physical health.
Alice Lucey is the Director of Be Independent Home Care, a nurse-owned and managed home care provider in Ireland. She is a firm believer in older people being allowed to continue living in their own homes due to the provision of home care so that they can maintain their independence. She often writes content on a broad range of matters concerning care for older people.
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Positive Words Research – Recognizing Depression in Older People