Benefits Of Senior Living Communities For People With Depression

As people age, they may be more likely to experience depression. This may be the result of having lost a spouse, other family members, or lifelong friends. Declining health and mobility problems may also contribute to feelings of depression and hopelessness in the aging population. If your loved one has health or mobility problems and is no longer to live independently, they may become severely depressed, and because of this, senior living in a retirement community may be a viable option for the individual. Here are some ways senior living communities can help your aging loved one overcome depression.

Prevention Of Social Isolation 

Socially isolated elderly individuals may be more likely to suffer from depression than those who have a larger network of friends and family to socialize with. Senior living facilities discourage social isolation by planning social events both on-site and off-site.

Other activities that a retirement community may offer to help discourage isolative behaviors and depression is incorporating pet therapy into its social activity calendar. Exposure to animals is thought to have a positive effect on the mood and it may help relieve feelings of sadness, loneliness, and anxiety. Pet companionship can help promote feelings of well-being and offer depressed seniors new hope for a brighter future. 

Nutritional Interventions For Depression

It is not uncommon for elderly people who live alone to develop nutritional deficiencies. This may be the result of a poor appetite, the inability to prepare nutrient-dense meals, or as a result of financial circumstances that may prevent the person from purchasing healthy foods. It is thought that nutritional deficiencies may play an important role in the development of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

When your loved one resides in a senior living community, the staff can prepare nutritious meals for the individual in accordance with their personal tastes and preferences. The meals will also be prepared in accordance with your loved one's health needs such as therapeutic diabetic diets, low sodium diets, high protein diets, and diets recommended for treating high blood pressure and hyperlipidemia.

The meals will be nutrient-dense, and in addition to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, nutritious snacks can also be offered throughout the day. Once nutritional deficiencies have been corrected through a proper diet, your loved one's mood may dramatically improve. 

If your loved one is unable to live alone, contact an admissions counselor at a senior living community to learn more about its benefits. When elderly depressed individuals enjoy socializing with their peers and have access to delicious and healthy meals at their retirement communities, they may enjoy a better outlook and become more hopeful for a happier future.