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

Philia Featured Caregiver

Home Care in Silver Spring MD

Our Philia Nanny –  Ashley. D.


What motivated you to become a caregiver?

Ashley was influenced by her family to become a caregiver. She has a huge family and because she was the baby and her sisters and brothers were older they had their own children. From that she would watch all her nieces and nephews so her mom didn’t have to it. She would help whenever needed. She loved watching them and grow and learn new things while in her care. It gave her a sense of pride and accomplishment. To know she had something to do with their growth and development excited her and knew her passion was to take care of children.


What do you enjoy about caregiving?

Ashley enjoys meeting new children with different personalities. It challenges her skills as a caregiver and also allows her to be creative with her activities.


What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Ashley enjoys coaching her high school she went to, Majorette Team. She enjoys dancing at Church and doing fun and adventurous things with her own 4 year old daughter Lyric.


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

Fall Arts and Crafts Projects

Home Care in Silver Spring MD


Tabletop Turkey   Home-Care-in-Silver-Spring-MD

  1. Paint a paper cup brown. Turn the cup upside down and glue a pom-pom to the top of the cup for the head.
  2. Cut nine 4-inch leaf shapes from different colors of construction paper. Fold a 1-inch-square piece of orange construction paper in half; cut a triangle shape out of the folded paper for the beak. Using a 2-inch square of red paper folded in half, cut a heart shape to create the turkey’s wattle.
  3. Glue the beak and wattle to the pom-pom. Add googly eyes. Glue on the “feathers.”



Cup on the Cob  Home-Care-in-Silver-Spring-MD

  1. Cut an oval corncob shape slightly larger than the paper cup out of yellow construction paper. With crayons, draw kernels on the paper. Glue to the front of the cup.
  2. Cut a piece of crepe paper, 11 inches high by 12 inches long (this may vary depending on size of cup). Glue the crepe paper around the cup to create the corn husk. Crinkle and gather the paper at the top as you glue around the cup.
  3. Fill a snack bag with popcorn and place inside the cup. Gather the top of the crepe paper and tie with a piece of raffia.



Easy Nature Notecards Craft for Kids

  1. Scout the backyard for a round or oval leaf.
  2. Lightly paint one side with orange poster paint. Press onto the bottom half of a sheet of construction paper, then carefully remove.
  3. With a small paintbrush add a stem. Let dry. Fold paper in half, and use as notepaper.

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

Why Should You Consider Finding a Support Group to Join?

Home Care in Silver Spring MDHome-Care-in-Silver-Spring-MD

Some family caregivers hear that they might enjoy attending support group meetings and they fear that’s just another thing that they’ll have to add to their to do list. The truth is that you can gain a lot from attending support group meetings as a family caregiver.

You Can Share Your Feelings without Feeling Judged

Caregivers often feel that if they were to share how they feel with the people in their lives, they would be judged harshly for some of their emotions. In order to work through those emotions, though, you need to be able to feel them and express them so that you can move past them. In a support group, other people there have felt the same way that you have at one time or another. They’re not there to judge you. They’re there to give and to receive support on their own caregiving journey.

It’s a Social Outlet

Quite often you’ll find that as you interact with people in the support group, you’ll strike up friendships. This is vitally important, because one of the ways that you can combat caregiver stress is to make time for social interaction. While a busy family caregiver might not hire a senior care provider to cover for her while she has lunch with a friend, she is far more likely to take that time to go to a support group meeting. There she can meet with friends and get so much more, too.

You Can Learn Quite a Bit about Caregiving

Another aspect of support groups that is important is that they’re very often educational. Some support groups even structure their meetings so that there is time for sharing and time for a speaker or other educational presentation. These presentations could be about general caregiving, specific situations, or even specific health conditions. All of this depends on the support group you’re attending, so be sure to research the structure if you’re looking for educational meetings.

The People You Meet Understand Your Situation

Beyond the social interaction, the educational aspect, and the ability to share your feelings in a safe environment, it’s important to understand that the people you encounter at support groups really get where you’re coming from. Unlike other situations you may encounter where people may try to understand what it’s like to be a family caregiver, these folks are right there in the trenches with you.

If you haven’t found a support group yet, try asking your loved one’s doctor for ideas about where you can find one that might fit your needs.

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


Fourth of July Arts And Crafts Projects

Home Care in Silver Spring MDHome-Care-in-Silver-Spring-MD

Festive Flags

What You’ll Need:

  • 12″x12″ sheets of red, white, and blue cardstock
  • Craft glue
  • 1/8″ hole punch
  • Starpaper punches in several sizes
  • Twenty 10″ strips of ribbon (1/4″ to ½” wide)
  • Cord or twine

Make It: Cut white cardstock into two 6″x12″ rectangles. Along the 12″ side of one rectangle, measure and punch a hole at 4″, at 8″, and at 11 ½”. Glue ribbon strips along the opposite side. Punch out stars in various sizes from colored cardstock. Flip white cardstock over; glue stars onto rectangle. Roll rectangle until one edge meets, but does not overlap, the first hole. Glue edges together, press firmly, and let dry. Thread cord through holes and hang.


Fourth of July Parade Stick Craft

What You’ll Need:

  • 8 to 10 sheets of newspaper
  • Transparent tape
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Craft glue
  • Shredded crinkle paper
  • 5-inch silver cardboard star
  • Star-shape foam stickers

Make it: Tape the ribbon at one end of the stick and wrap it in a spiral to the other end. Secure it at that end with tape. Glue crinkle paper and a silver cardboard star onto one end of the baton; let dry flat. Decorate the cardboard star with star-shape foam stickers.


Flowery Flags

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 coffee filters
  • Red and blue paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Chenille stem
  • Bobby pin or rubber band

Make It: Paint the inside of a filter red and another blue. You only have to coat the ruffled edges of the filter. Let dry. Stack 3 filters and puncture the center with a chenille stem. Wind 1″ of the chenille stem in a knot in the inside of flower. Bunch filters in back and wrap 2″ of stem around them tightly to secure. Fluff the coffee-filter layers to form a flower and attach it to a bobby pin or a rubber band using the chenille stem.


If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Silver Spring, MD, please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.