The Elderly Kind of Blues

Seniors & Mental Health

Mental health is widely considered a new age concept, which is obscure to many members of the aging populations. Older generations ignored mental health issues and were more likely to address physical ailments. In regards to uncomfortable feelings, words such as “melancholy” were likely used to instead of “depression.” Older generations are more likely to express physical versus mental complaints. The avoidance of addressing mental health issues is linked to the extreme stigmatization of mental illness in previous decades. Unfortunately, the ongoing neglect of mental health problems becomes a habit transmitted to younger generations. Children of the aging populations often become caretakers and key advocates for their elder’s well-being, but find themselves covering all the basis of their parent’s health and well-being except mental health. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than two million Americans above the age 65 suffer from some form of depression. The elderly population is one of the most vulnerable populations to developing depression due to the experience of significant losses related to death, physical ability, and independence. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in the United States, less than 5% of older adults living in the community show signs of depression, the percentage rises to over 13% among those who require home health care. Considering the extreme risk and vulnerability of the elderly population choosing home care that addresses the well-being of the whole person is essential. Holistic home-care is a new era approach to senior care that tailors care to enhance one’s social, emotional and physical well-being. Finding senior care that treats the whole person can be like searching for a needle in a haystack in major metropolitan areas such as Washington, DC.  This article will discuss the manifestation of depression among the elderly and the benefits of holistic care.Senior-Care-in-Washington-DC

Aging & Depression

It is common for people to experience depression at various points in their life in response to negative life events such as ended relationships, financial hardship, and interpersonal conflict. However, clinical depression manifest in mood and physical symptoms. Research shows that older adults are more likely to label their “down feelings” as pessimism or helplessness versus depression. Additionally, older versus young adults are less likely to endorse statements related to “feeling down” or “blue.” Older adults commonly display withdraw, less communication, increased sleeping, expressionlessness, and bodily neglect. In older adults, physical symptoms often accompany depression including, coronary heart disease, dementia, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and cancer. Life events related to loss of loved ones and independence can exacerbate these symptoms. Unlike younger adults, older adults often lose their ability to engage in coping behaviors such as exercise, outings with friends, and travel to alleviate mental and physical symptoms. These circumstances leave older adults not only at greater risk of developing severe depression but little means to mitigate the suffering.

Senior Care & Depression

Nursing home residents and older adults with chronic illness are at greater risk of developing depression. This risk is due in large part to the lack of quality care available in nursing facilities with an unbalanced caregiver to resident ratios. This imbalance diminishes the amount of emotional, social, and physical support available to clients. Many nursing home facilities plan rigorously to design communities that cultivate social and physical well-being, only to find that a large percentage of residents don’t adequately utilize all that the facility has to offer. This underutilization is mainly due to physical and mental declines that limit their access and interest. Senior care facilities in major metropolitan cities such as Washington, DC find themselves overwhelmed and falling short of providing quality care as their mission statements often promise, due to understaffing and short-sighted approaches.

Holistic Care

Holistic care is a growing approach adopted by senior care providers in efforts to improve the quality of life of the aging population. Through this approach, caregivers are trained to assess and address the social, emotional, physical, and in some cases spiritual needs of the client.  Many nursing home facilities have begun to adopt the holistic approach to senior care. However, like any other service industry, quantity often reduces quality. Philia is a home-care agency that adopts the holistic approach to senior care offered only on a 1:1 basis to ensure quality. In addition to assisting with ADL’s, caregivers are trained to incorporate nutritional meal preparation, tailored exercise regimen, activity engagement, and emotional support. Each client’s care plan is designed to enhance their quality of life and well-being in oppose to maintain their present state of health. Holistically trained caregivers are trained to recognize the signs of depression specific to older adults and implement interventions that treat the physical, social, and emotional manifestations. The mind and body are interconnected, each impacting the other dynamically throughout one’s life. Quality senior care addresses both physical and psychological aspects of a person, recognizing that this is the key to total well-being.

Sources

Cavanaugh, J., & Blanchard-Fields, F. (2014). Adult development and aging. Nelson Education.

Friedhoff, A. J., Ballenger, J., Bellack, A. S., Carpenter, W. T., Chui, H. C., Dobrof, R., & Merikangas, K. R. (1992). Diagnosis and treatment of depression in late life. JAMA268(8), 1018-1024.

Zarit, S. H., & Zarit, J. M. (2012). Mental disorders in older adults: Fundamentals of assessment and treatment. Guilford Press.

Tips for Providing Anti-Aging Care

Anti-aging is a new era phenomenon that is has become a central topic of discussion as it relates to aging populations. However, considering the culmination of factors that contribute to aging including stress, poor diet and sedentary lifestyles this topic can be relevant to people

Tips for Providing Anti-Aging Care

in Washington DC

  • Incorporate more plant-based foods into a client’s dietary plan. Review a vegetable chart and learn about the client’s favorite veggies and create new recipes to incorporate them in meals.
    In cases a person is completely aversive to fruits/vegetables learn delicious smoothie recipes that make them seem more appetizing.
  • Educate seniors on ways nutrients from vegetables work in the body and reverse aging.
    Create fun exercises tailored to the person’s unique ability and interest. Don’t push clients into “overdoing it”.
  • Engage or encourage clients in activities that are distressing (i.e. nature walks, meditation, deep breathing, yoga).
  • Incorporate humor into your work with clients. Find funny jokes online and create a “joke of the day” tradition.
  • Provide clients a space to ventilate and talk about their difficulties/frustration.

Tips for Overcoming Anxiety for Elderly Loved Ones

Elderly Care in Washington D.C.

Anxiety is an issue that can affect anyone, regardless of age or life circumstances.  Many things can cause anxiety, but the ability to recognizeELDERLY-CARE-WASHINGTON-D.C. it is the first step in overcoming this condition. Once people recognize the problem, they can begin to take action to combat the feelings.

Tips to recognize anxiety

There are some clear signs that an elderly loved one may be suffering from anxiety. These may include the following.

  • Inability to sleep at night due to constant thoughts
  • Trying to stay on schedule but finding it hard to focus
  • Butterflies in the stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heartbeat

Once seniors are familiar with the common signs of anxiety, they can begin to learn to control it.

How to overcome anxiety

Overcoming anxiety takes practice, and there are a number of techniques that can be used to help. Some tips include:

  • Relaxation Techniques: This includes things such as deep breathing. Simply take a slow, deep breath and then hold it for three to five seconds. When it is time to exhale count to 10, repeat and feel the tension dissipate.
  • Relax and tense all of the muscles in the body one by one. Start with the muscles in the top of the body and work downward.
  • Yoga.

Anxiety can create negative effects both mentally and physically. It also works to release hormones in the body that can make people feel irritable and tired, thus making them more susceptible to getting sick. Remember, everyone experiences stressful situations and understanding how to process the feelings can be extremely helpful to an overall sense of well-being.

Things the senior needs to consider

While there are a number of techniques out there to combat this condition, everyone is different when it comes to what works for them. In some case, the professionals that provide elderly care will be able to provide some suggestions. Getting this type of professional assistance can make things much easier on seniors and their adult children.

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING ELDERLY CARE IN WASHINGTON, D.C., PLEASE CALL THE FRIENDLY STAFF AT PHILIA CARE TODAY, 202-607-2525.

Source
http://www.adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/older-adults