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.


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.

Spring Cleaning and Organization In The Washington DC Area

It’s that time of the year again to start thinking about spring cleaning, which likely means some serious decluttering, reorganization, scrubbing and polishing. Spring is the time that we all begin thinking about cleaning and organizing our homes. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that a good spring cleaning is a worthwhile exercise.


But did you know that it can also benefit your health and wellbeing? Below are some reasons why clearing out those closets and grabbing the polish can actually good for you. Let the cleaning commence!

In the Washington, D.C area, many residents lead busy schedules that prevent them from routine spring cleaning as other responsibilities become prioritized in the “to-do-list”. Spring Cleaning can increase productivity. Making the effort to declutter and organize your home or office can save you tons of time looking for or replacing lost items in the future. Organization makes you more productive, while the cleaning process itself can increase energy levels. We all need to learn to let go. If you haven’t used something since the last spring clean, it might be time to say goodbye. Cleaning can be a great way for Senior Care professionals to get clients active and engaged.

Spring cleaning is also healthy. Many elderly individuals struggle with allergies but already take a slew of medications leaving little room for allergy medication. A good spring clean can help you avoid allergy symptoms and lower Asthma attacks. Removing allergens from the home can make you feel healthier, especially at a time when allergies are rife. You want to try to get those hard to reach places too where dust build up. Make sure though to ask for help moving big pieces of furniture or climbing up ladders when going for those hard-to-reach spots.


Spring cleaning can make you happy. Taking the time to thoroughly clean and maintain a tidy home makes people happier, studies have shown. The act of cleaning provides a sense of satisfaction, which in turn can put you in a good mood. Also, putting on some of your favorite music while cleaning can make it even more fun!

Spring cleaning can help to reduce stress. Cleaning and organizing your personal spaces lets you enjoy a tidier and more organized environment and this can relieve stress. Levels of stress can also be reduced during the act itself as cleaning is considered to be therapeutic. But make sure to always be realistic. If it’s all getting too much, take a break. It’s not a race after all.


Lastly, Spring leaning can help you to focus. Those who make a point of clearing out the clutter once in a while are able to free up the brain for more essential decision-making, according to a study carried out by the founder of America’s Anxiety Disorder Center. A thorough clean helps to clear your mind of things that need to be done around the house and makes it easier to focus on other more important things. You should concentrate though on one room at a time to make sure you get the job done properly

Simple Diet Changes to Protect the Health of a Parent with Diabetes

Home Care in Potomac MD

Diabetes is not an uncommon condition. In fact, more than 29 million people throughout the United States alone are currently living with Home-Care-in-Potomac-MDdiabetes, a number that represents more than 9 percent of the total population of the country. If you are a family caregiver for one of these people, however, it is easy to feel as though you are totally alone and do not know where to turn or what to do. Fortunately there are simple things that you can do to help your aging parent protect their health and manage their condition. One of the most impactful is making changes to their diet. What your loved one eats can make a tremendous difference on their health and their diabetes. Even making small daily changes can add up to a huge impact for your parent’s health.


Some of the simple diet changes that you can make to help protect your parent’s health and manage their diabetes include:

  • Focus on healthy carbohydrates. Many people think that people with diabetes should not eat carbohydrates, or that their bodies are not able to process them. This, however, is not the case. Everybody needs carbohydrates, but it is important that your loved one focuses on healthy forms of carbohydrates. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and legumes.
  • Bump up the fiber. Fiber is an essential nutrient that most people do not get enough of in their diet. Fiber is critical to healthy digestion, regulating blood sugar levels and how the body digests. This helps your parent’s body get the nutrients that it needs and can eliminate cholesterol and sugar. Focus on healthy whole sources of fiber such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Eat good fats. It is a common misconception that people with diabetes should not eat fat. It is important to remember that the body needs fat to function. When adjusting your parent’s diet to help them manage their diabetes, choose heart-healthy fats. Unsaturated fats help to regulate cholesterol, protect the heart, and promote sustained energy. Focus on fats from plant sources such as olive, canola, walnut, pecan, almond, and avocado oils.


Staring home care can be one of the most effective and beneficial choices that you can make for your aging parent as they deal with diabetes. This disease has far-reaching implications for your senior’s life and lifestyle, and getting the appropriate level of care, support, assistance, and encouragement is essential to them being able to manage the condition in the way that is right for them. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your aging parent on a customized schedule to ensure that they get all of the services that they need, but that they are also able to enjoy as much independence and autonomy as possible throughout their later years. When it comes to helping them manage their diabetes, this care provider can support healthy food choices, plan activities that keep your parent active and engaged, and provide valuable reminders that will help your parent remain compliant with their doctor’s guidelines and recommendations so that they can get the most benefit from their medications and other treatments.


If you or an aging loved one are considering HOME CARE IN POTOMAC, MD, please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.

Philia’s Parents Night Out!

Home Care in Potomac MDHome-Care-in-Potomac-MD

Philia is having it’s second parent’s night out event! We are going to be doing this on a bi-monthly basis. Located at the Philia office on: 4420 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008.

This will be a GREAT time for kids!!  Arts & Crafts, Movies, Story time. Pizza, snack. Planned by and cared for by PHILIA NANNIES & TEACHERS!!  Small & cozy size. A guaranteed good time. A DATE NIGHT for you!

Email: or call: (202) 607-2526 to register now!

Have your kids join us for the next Parent’s Night Out!!!  It will be held on Friday, August 26th from 5:30-9:30 at Philia, with the them “Under The Sea”.  Your children are sure to have a blast while you get some alone time with your partner.

If you or an aging loved one are considering HOME CARE IN POTOMAC, MD, please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.