By 2036, the number of seniors in Canada will reach 10.5 million, doubling that of 2009.
Canada’s aging population is seeing more and more of its overall demographic made up of people over the age of 65. Here are 3 ways to help a parent or grandparent with depression.
1. Stay involved
It important that seniors stay actively involved and engaged in their communities. Social isolation can do real damage to the mental wellbeing of a senior. Doing things like volunteering, having lunch with a friend, joining a support group or taking care of a pet can keep or bring back a sense of meaning and connectedness in their lives.
2. Healthy Habits
Depression can take its toll on the body. It can be very difficult to find the motivation and desire to do anything for those who face depression. Incorporating some healthy habits into a senior’s life can help reduce symptoms and help get on track to feeling stronger and happier:
a. Move the body
b. Eat right
c. Get quality sleep
d. Enjoy sunlight
3. Professional help
Educate yourself and know the signs and symptoms of depression. If low mood seems to be persistent and get worse, professional help should be your next step. There are many options, such as talk therapy, support groups, psychosocial treatment, or antidepressants that can aid on the road to recovery.
According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, age should not limit access to quality mental health services. Yet, this is often the case in Canada. Community-based services and primary care providers have an important role to play in helping people stay mentally well and successfully manage the wide range of mental health problems and illnesses they can face as they age. Important Canadian initiatives that focus on mental health promotion and health living, such as the Canadian Age Friendly Cities initiative , Fountain of Health or Living Life to the Full , are emerging every year.