Retirement should be something to look forward to, but many seniors find themselves spending too much time alone at home. This type of isolation can lead to depression, but there are many things seniors can do to stave off these emotions. Lancaster, PA, 24-hour care professionals discuss a few of the ways your aging loved one can reduce his or her risk of post-retirement depression.
Start Making Plans Today
Seniors who have nothing to look forward to in life can easily slip into a state of depression. According to a recent study published by the Institute of Economic Affairs, retirement can increase a senior’s risk of depression by as much as 40 percent. Making weekly and monthly plans for meals with friends and upcoming vacations can give your loved one a sense of purpose and even add years to his or her life expectancy.
It is often much easier to maintain friendships when running errands every day and spending countless hours with coworkers. However, after retiring, your loved one might find many of his or her friendships are slowly fading away due to spending more time at home. This is why your loved one should start thinking of ways to continue to nurture friendships, such as setting up weekly coffee dates or writing a few emails every week.
Give Back to the Community
Many people feel lonely after retiring because they have a sense of detachment from the world around them. In addition to staying connected with friends and family members, your loved one might also want to consider giving back to the community as a whole. Many nonprofits even allow volunteers to work from home, which includes tasks such as making calls for donations, putting together gift baskets, or hosting video web chats for people who want to learn English.
Depression and inactivity often feed off of one another. Studies continue to show staying active is one of the most effective ways to enhance a senior’s happiness and self-esteem. According to the CDC, seniors should try to get around 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, which includes 2 or 3 days a week of strength training to activate all the major muscle groups. Strength training flushes the body with dopamine, adrenaline, and other vital chemicals.
When basic household tasks become more difficult to accomplish, seniors often become depressed as a result. If your loved one needs help around the house, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available to assist with cooking, bathing, grooming, and many other daily tasks. For more information on the in-home senior care Lancaster, PA, families trust, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (717) 540-4663 to schedule a complimentary consultation.