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World Mental Health Day: The Importance of Support for Older Adults with Depression

Skilled nursing care can assess your senior loved one for signs of depression as they recover after being diagnosed with a chronic health condition.
Skilled Nursing Care in Loudoun VA
Skilled Nursing Care in Loudoun VA

World Mental Health Day is October 10th. It raises awareness of mental health issues facing all ages, including older adults. Supporting someone struggling with their mental health is important, but it’s also challenging. You often don’t know how to start, what to say, or what to do. Don’t let that hesitation keep you from helping your dad when depression is present.

Depression doesn’t affect all older adults, but rates vary from around 5% of all older adults to 13.5% with health issues that require skilled nursing care services. You need to learn how to identify depression and how to help your dad when he is depressed.

What Leads to Depression in the Elderly?

Often, depression appears when a chronic health condition like heart disease, diabetes, dementia, cancer, or arthritis is diagnosed. It’s hard to hear your health is changing and that it could impact your life. Some people handle the news better than others, but depression is a risk and one that can be addressed.

Once your dad learns he has a chronic health issue, make sure that he has a strong support team with his family members, friends, medical team, and therapists. Medications, diet, exercise, and therapeutic services help maintain his health, but he also needs emotional support and that’s where his family and friends come in.

When an older adult’s significant other passes away, depression is common. If it’s suspected that your dad is depressed after losing a spouse or partner, he should be encouraged to join a grief support group. Grieving the loss is important, and he shouldn’t feel embarrassed to grieve. If he wants to talk, listen to him and provide the support he asks for, whether that’s getting out of the house for a break or clearing out a closet of clothing.

Arrange Skilled Nurses for His Medical Care Needs

As his family caregiver, you can help him shop, keep him company, clean his home, and cook his meals. But he’s going to need other levels of care that are beyond you. Skilled nursing care can help assess his health, provide notes to his doctor if his depression is worsening, and help him with medication administration, pain management, and services like physical and occupational therapy.

If your dad has health issues that make it hard for him to live alone, talk to his doctor. He doesn’t have to move to a nursing home after a stroke, hip replacement surgery, heart attack, or cancer diagnosis. With skilled nursing care, he stays in his home where he’s comfortable.

Skilled nursing care can assess him for signs of depression as he recovers. The faster treatments are available, the better it is for his mental health. Call a home healthcare agency to learn more.

If you or an aging loved-one is considering Skilled Nursing Care in Loudoun,VA, please contact the caring staff at Passion Home Health Solutions LLC today at 703-462-9141

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