Most antidepressants come with lengthy lists of side effects. For seniors, the addition of these drugs to their existing lists of medications may not be the best way to manage depression. Fortunately, there are a number of safe and natural therapies for alleviating depression aging adults can rely on instead.
Evaluate Lifestyle Choices
Before implementing any plan to alleviate chronic senior depression through the use of herbs or other alternative therapies, it’s important to carefully assess lifestyle factors. Seniors who are living in isolation or who lack regular opportunities for social engagement and routine exercise may benefit best from a series of strategic lifestyle changes. Increased exercise, regular outings, and better nutrition could be sufficient to keep depression at bay.
For families living in Miami, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
Address Nutritional Deficiencies
Providing seniors with access to home-cooked meals may not be sufficient to ensure adequate nutritional support. Although seniors require fewer calories, there are certain nutrients seniors actually need more of. This is especially true now because modern practices in food production are decreasing the amounts of essential minerals in natural food sources.
Shortages of minerals like magnesium can lead to chronic depression and anxiety that will only continue to spiral until deficiencies are identified and addressed. Adding more seeds and nuts to the diet along with black beans, soybeans, navy beans, and dark leafy vegetables could also prove helpful.
If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Miami families can trust. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia.
Subluxations are areas of the spine that are poorly aligned. Vertebrae can be displaced by slip and fall accidents, car accidents, poor posture, and insufficient core muscle strength. With this poor alignment, the nerves and the brain have a much harder time communicating with each other, which can in turn lead to chemical imbalances and mental health issues like depression. Chiropractors and physical therapists can resolve spinal subluxations through manual adjustments, massage, and other forms of therapy.
Try Light Therapy
Much like mineral deficiencies, vitamin D deficiencies are also common among seniors. Excess exposure to sunlight and heat can result in a range of health issues for seniors, including sunburn, heat stroke, and skin damage. Too little sunlight, however, can lead to vitamin D deficiency and depression, particularly in those who live in isolation or in areas that get limited sunlight for extended periods throughout the year.
Light therapies allow seniors to take advantage of the restorative qualities of light in controlled environments. Red light therapy has also proven to be particularly effective at boosting immune system functioning, offsetting many of the common signs of aging, and lowering depression.
Walking is a great way to alleviate depression. This low-impact exercise involves coordinated arm and leg movements that can actually alter brain wave patterns. After just thirty minutes of walking, many people will additionally benefit from increased dopamine and serotonin production. These are commonly referred to as “feel-good” chemicals because they boost mood and keep problems like anxiety and depression at bay.
Consider Supplements & Oils
There are also a number of supplements and oils that have proven very effective at alleviating senior depression. Although fish oil is commonly valued for its anti-inflammatory properties, it also boasts a number of mood-boosting benefits. This can be taken orally and used in conjunction with aromatherapy. Lavender oil is a mood-boosting fragrance that promotes relaxation and relieves depression when used as part of a structured aromatherapy plan.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of emotional support for your loved one. Miami Home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. Our caregivers encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us today.