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

Newsletter for January

Home Care in Washington DC


New Beginnings


The start of a new year can be a great time to assist children with developing plans to continue to reach their goals and milestones. Home-Care-in-Washington-DCUnfortunately, many adults have grown up and never learned how to set target goals and aim toward achieving them.  The lack of ability to set realistic goals can greatly hinder one’s ability to be successful in all areas of their life.  Learning how to set realistic goals and objectives can assist children with learning responsibility, independence and self-confidence.



The Art of Aiming


During early childhood years, children typically depend on their parents to set goals and strategies for them to help them improve and acquire skills. Many children never learn how to set goals for themselves according to their areas in which they need to improve. It is essential that children learn to be reflective about their areas of weakness. This enables children to acquire the ability to self-evaluate. Additionally, it is important for children to learn how to set goals that are realistic according to their own potential and strengths. Learning to establish realistic goals will prevent children from establishing goals and objectives that are beyond their current potential. Children that lack confidence in themselves may set the bar too low for themselves, consequentially limiting their growth and potential. Children with high confidence may set the bar too high for themselves, ultimately leading to discouragement or goal abandonment. Overall, it is essential that parents assist children in this process to help them set realistic goals that are both achievable and challenging.



Responsibility & Independence


Naturally parents want their children to be successful in life. Childhood is a magical time in which children have remarkable optimism for their future and ability to do amazing things. Children have an exciting outlook on their future but lack insight on how they can make their dreams reality. Parents play a major role in continuing to nurture this sense of optimism, while instilling values of responsibility and independence. Unfortunately, during early-childhood, many children become very reliant upon parents for planning their daily routines, and activities. This is essential as children must learn to how to follow a balanced routine and schedule. However, as children become older is essential that they become more involved and proactive in setting personal goals and objectives. Involvement in goal setting increases their sense of accountability for failures and successes.




As children become more involved in setting their own goals they take achievement much more seriously. When children are able to achieve even small goals, they become more confident in their own ability to achieve bigger goals. Setting small realistic goals can help children with low self-confidence feel more motivated to tackle bigger goals. Encouragement and appraisal from parents can add a major boost to a child’s self-esteem. When setting goals for children with low self-confidence it can be helpful to start with an area they find great interest such as sports, crafts or music.



Tips for Cultivating Goal-Oriented Children


  • Model good consistency with working toward your own goals and objectives.
  • Get children involved in setting individual and family goals for fitness or reading.
  • Assist children with creating a chart for goals and small objectives to achieving the goals.
  • Keep track of progress and display accomplishments to family and friends.
  • Reward achievements regularly.
  • Find role models that may display achievement attitude to keep children motivated.
  • Coach children when they are feeling discouraged.


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


The Luxury of Giving

Home Care in Washington DC

The holidays can be a cheerful and magical time of year. However, for many people the holidays can bring stress, loneliness or excitement. Home-Care-in-Washington-DC This time of year can be a stressful time for parents as they try hard to avoid disappointing their children and reward them for good behavior throughout the year. The added stress of finding the right gift and making to holidays feel magical can leave parents feeling burdened. Ultimately, the overwhelming stress can transform what should be a “jolly time” into a “dreadful time”.  There are many ways to celebrate the holidays while maintaining that magical spirit the season brings. Giving can be a great way to bring inspiration during the holiday season.



The Spirit of Giving     

Children struggle with giving and sharing at all ages. As children mature and move closer to adulthood giving becomes much easier. Depending on the caregivers capacity to give and share with others, some children may be more likely to give than others.  Lifestyle and culture can greatly impact a child’s inclination to give. The United States has been a country predominantly known throughout the world for giving. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, the Unites States estimates that individual giving amounted to $228.93 billion in 2012, an increase of 3.9 percent in current dollars (1.9%, adjusted for inflation) from 2011. However, many recent financial crises have served as a discouragement to engage in giving. Nevertheless, giving can have a positive impact on individual well-being.


Nurturing the Spirit of Giving

Nurturing the spirit of giving in children can be quite challenging. However, children learn best through parent modeling. Encouraging your children to adopt your attitude of selflessness can reinforce thoughtful acts of kindness, service and leadership. Teaching children to take the focus off themselves can help them be less obsessive over what gifts they plan to receive. Children are highly sensitive to the stress of their caregivers. Prompting children to refocus their efforts to give can help alleviate some of the stressors parents face in trying to exceed their child’s wish list.  Also, teaching children alternative ways to give including; time, talents and skills can help children recognize the value in non-monetary ways of giving back.  Remember, today it is easier to give monetary gifts than it is to give others our time and support. Encouraging non-monetary giving can help children recognize how they can be of value to society without great financial wealth.


Spend Time with Your Family During the Holidays and All Year 

Many people take this week off from work and school to spend time with their families. The holidays are a good time to strengthen our connections and renew relationships. So turn off the cell phones, computers and televisions and take time to focus on your family. Research shows that families who spend time together are strong families. They communicate better and share a sense of belonging. Here are a few ideas you can try to spend time with your family.

  • Family game night. Spend at least one night during the holidays with the TV off and the family huddled together to play a favorite game. You may play cards, bingo or any other family favorite. Consider continuing this practice throughout the year and designate at least one night per week as family game night.
  • Go for a walk. After eating rich holiday foods, taking a walk provides not only time together but a great way to get some exercise.
  • Movie night. Rent a movie or watch a TV holiday special, pop some popcorn, and kick back for some family fun.Like game night, this may be something you’d like to continue throughout the year as a way to spend time together.
  • Play outdoors together. You can ride bikes, play ball, or go for a hike. It’ll give the entire family some fresh air, exercise and great fun.
  • Go shopping. Hang out together while shopping at the after Christmas sales.
  • Cook together. Parents and kids can do the holiday baking and food preparation together. Even the youngest children can wash vegetables, set the table, or ice cookies.
  • Spend some one-on-one time with each child if you have more than one. Spending time alone provides time to bond with the child and helps him gain a sense of belonging and feeling of importance. It also provides an opportunity for the two of you to get to know each other better.
  • Since grandparents and older family members usually visit during the holidays, take time to share family customs and tell stories about past generations. Families build strength when they share family customs and traditions give family members a sense of belonging, and they strengthen values and beliefs.


One of the greatest gifts of the holiday season is the gift of time with family. Spend time together to strengthen relationships and to make wonderful family memories. Strong families spend time with each other – quality time in large quantities. So begin during the holidays and continue making time for each other throughout the year.


Gifts of Giving

Giving can have a lasting effect on overall well-being. Fran Walfish, a child, teen, parent and family psychotherapist, reported that giving and supporting others directly targets the core of self-esteem. Essentially, giving is the best way to feel good about ourselves. When we feel good about ourselves we are better equipped to share that sense of goodness with others through kindness and encouraging interactions. Holidays can bring on stress including familial conflicts. Giving reduces stress which can help increase effective communication and emotional coping. Adopting the mindset of focusing on others can combat some of the negative mental health symptoms the holiday brings that are rooted in self-centeredness (loneliness, sadness, depression & discontentment).


Tips for Cultivating a Heart for Giving

  • Encourage children to give regularly so that giving is not a challenge during the holiday season.
  • Give as a family so that children can emulate your giving attitude and behaviors.
  • Encourage children to create cards to learn how their talents, skills or encouraging words can bring value to the lives of others.
  • Help children choose gently used items of their own to give to another child in need.
  • Teach your children about well-known figures in society that represent altruism.
  • Ask children how it felt for them to give. This encourages them to think about the rewards of giving.
  • Encourage children to give more sacrificial gifts such as time, talents and skills.


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


July Activities in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia Areas

Home Care in Washington D.C.

Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-WoodsHome-Care-in-Washington-D.C.
Tuesdays through Saturdays, June-August 2016. Family friendly performances in music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and theater. (recommended for children ages 5-12)

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
June 29-July 4 and July 7-10, 2016. Celebrate cultural traditions from around the world. The Festival includes daily and evening music and dance performances, crafts and cooking demonstrations, storytelling and discussions of cultural issues. This is one of Washington, DC’s most popular summer events.


UniverSoul Circus
June 30-July 24, 2016. National Harbor, MD. Enjoy a big top showcase bursting with action-packed performances, colorful lights, pulsating music and international soul.


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

Philia’s Parents Night Out!

Home Care in Washington DC

Philia is having it’s first parent’s night out event! We are going to be doing this on a bi-monthly basis and our first one will be kicking off on Home-Care-in-Washington-DCFriday June, 3rd from 5:30-9:30 pm at the Philia office located at 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!


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

June Activities in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia Areas

Home Care in Washington DC

Free Summer Concerts
Find concert schedules for free family entertainment throughout the month in various destinations around Washington, DC, Maryland and Home-Care-in-Washington-DCVirginia.

Free Outdoor Movies
Outdoor movies are getting very popular and there are a variety of venues to choose from throughout the summer. See the schedules here.

DC Capital Fair
Through June 5, 2016. RFK Stadium Grounds, Washington DC. The summer carnival features dozens of rides, games, foods and live entertainment.

Herndon Festival
June 2-5, 2016. Downtown Herndon, Virginia. The free summer festival features live entertainment, international foods, carnival rides and games, children’s entertainment, a business exposition, 10k & 5k races, a Fitness expo, fireworks and more.

Taste of Wheaton
June 2-5, 2016. Wheaton, MD. Enjoy a variety of food samples from local restaurants, live music and kids activities.

Imagination Bethesda
June 4, 2016, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Bethesda, MD. A children’s street festival featuring costume characters, face painters, dance troupes, theatre performances and a variety of hands-on arts activities.

Vintage Virginia Wine Festival
June 4-5, 2016. Bull Run Park, Centreville, VA. Enjoy samples by more than 50 wineries including over 250 award-winning Virginia wines, educational seminars on food pairing, fine art exhibits, children’s activities, food and live entertainment.

Washington Folk Festival
June 4-5, 2016, 12-7 p.m. Glen Echo Park. Presented by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington, the free festival features hundreds of musicians, storytellers, dancers, and craft vendors representing the rich cultural diversity of the Washington area. Audiences will enjoy American musical traditions such as bluegrass, blues, and swing as well as international traditions from across the globe. Rain or shine.

Annapolis Arts, Crafts & Wine Festival
June 4-5, 2016. The two-day celebration of the arts in Annapolis, Maryland features the juried works of more than 150 fine artists and craftsmen, wine tastings, food, live entertainment and activities for the entire family.

Dupont-Kalorama Museum Walk
June 4-5, 2016. Visit museums near Dupont Circle featuring free admission and special activities for all ages.

Washington Nationals Baseball
The Major League Baseball’s National League East plays 81 home games each season at Nationals Park. Enjoy a fun-filled day cheering on DC’s baseball team.

Summer Theater in Washington DC
With dozens of performances around the region, here is the schedule of the top shows for the 2016 season.

Celebrate Fairfax! Festival
June 10-12, 2016. Northern Virginia’s largest annual community-wide celebration features live music, children’s activities, a community market place, a laser show and fireworks.

DC Jazz Festival
June 10-19, 2016. Enjoy more than 100 jazz performances at concert venues and clubs throughout Washington, DC.

Discover Strathmore
June 12, 2016. North Bethesda, MD. The annual open house features free music and dance performances, workshops, artistic presentations, food demonstrations, and more.

Celebrate Gaithersburg
June 12, 2016, noon-5 p.m. Bring the whole family to the annual Gaithersburg street festival, with live music, food, arts & crafts, amusements and more.

Flag Day in Washington DC
June 14, 2016. Washington DC celebrates Flag Day with a variety of patriotic festivals and exhibits

Columbia Heights Day
June 18, 2016. Harriet Tubman Elementary School, 11th & Kenyon Streets NW, Washington, DC. The community event includes live music, food, vendors, guest speakers, children’s activities and more.

Northern Virginia Summer Brewfest
June 18-19, 2016. Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville, VA. Enjoy a beer festival with food, live entertainment and children’s activities.

National Capital Barbecue Battle
June 25-26, 2016. If you love barbecue you’ll love the food samples, cooking demonstrations, interactive displays and children’s activities at this sizzling summer festival on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW between 9th & 14th Sts.

Alexandria Food and Wine Festival
June 25, 2016. The street festival showcases local food and wine and includes live entertainment, craft vendors and children activities.

Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
Tuesdays through Saturdays, June-August 2016. Family friendly performances in music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and theater. (recommended for children ages 5-12)

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
June 29-July 4 and July 7-10, 2016. Celebrate cultural traditions from around the world. The Festival includes daily and evening music and dance performances, crafts and cooking demonstrations, storytelling and discussions of cultural issues. This is one of Washington, DC’s most popular summer events.

UniverSoul Circus
June 30-July 24, 2016. National Harbor, MD. Enjoy a big top showcase bursting with action-packed performances, colorful lights, pulsating music and international soul.


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