While suicidal thoughts don’t descriminate, it’s important to recognise that depression amongst seniors is more common than you may think, as they face unique struggles.
September is recognised as National Suicide Prevention Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness, promoting mental health, and providing support to those who may be struggling. While suicidal thoughts don’t descriminate, it’s important to recognise that depression amongst seniors is more common than you may think, as they face unique struggles that can go unnoticed by family and friends.
There are many circumstances as we get older that can drastically change our mental health and can lead to illnesses such as depression.
A common trait amongst seniors is that they simply lose the will to live. This can be due to a number of reasons such as, losing close family members or spouses, no longer being able to participate in hobbies or interests, deteriorating health and even terminal illness can all contribute to this.
Loneliness is very commonly found in older people, which can further have a negative impact on mental health. According to Age UK, more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than a million older people say they go over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.
All of these factors can have a serious effect on mental health, but also physical health too. Often things like grief, loneliness, anxiety and especially depression can bring on other conditions like Alzheimer’s disease as you are more prone to cognitive decline in this state.
The simple act of companionship is often enough to brighten an older person’s day, which is why we heavily endorse companionship within our visits. A simple chat, or trip to the supermarket with your Care Professional is usually enough to reduce the feeling of loneliness commonly found in seniors.
Another way we try to help people who are battling these struggles is by encouraging their independence. Whilst we do offer help with things like chores, getting dressed and taking medication when needed, our goal is not to take over your life but to provide a helping hand.
Remaining independent in your own home allows you to feel more in control and is proven to have a positive effect on overall mental health.
A great way for seniors to remain connected and active is through groups and communities, this can be anything from support groups to volunteering. Socialising regularly helps to reduce the impact of loneliness in older people, which is why we are proud partners of the Let’s Sing group based in Retford. The group aims to bring all kinds of people of different ages and backgrounds together with singing and encourages light exercise through dancing.
If you or someone you know might be interested in our Let's Sing group, you can find out more on the Let's Sing Facebook page.Let's Sing