Many studies have shown how important companionship is in regard to both mental and physical health. Douglas Mennin, an assistant professor of psychology at Yale University, points out that “Many older adults are faced with increasingly stressful situations, such as loss of friends, mobility and job, and anxiety is a natural result.”
This kind of anxiety can cause depression and isolation, resulting in a lower quality of life and/or a shorter lifespan. Depression can also be a factor in reducing a senior’s ability to manage their finances and get their bills paid on time.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), minor depression is characterized by loss of interest or pleasure in activities, and feelings of sadness or hopelessness. CDC statistics show that depression strikes about 14 percent of seniors, many of whom are dealing with isolation, loss of friends and family, and debilitating chronic diseases.
One of the best antidotes to depression and isolation is companionship, which can be found in many ways — organized activities through a senior center, joining a church or other organizations, and through agencies that provide companion Personal Attendants, for various activities.
Friends or family members may not have the time or ability to tend to their loved ones’ needs. Professional Personal Attendants are well known for assisting in Activities of Daily Living (known as ADL’s) such as bathing, cooking, medication reminders, etc., but they are also available at any time to assist in various social activities, which may include simply taking a ride in the country, going to the hairdresser, getting to a doctor’s appointment, enjoying a meal at the local diner, or going to the movies or the theater. Whatever the need, a personal attendant can provide much-needed company and enjoy various activities to help get a person out of the house and into the community when a family member is unavailable.
In a 2005 article, the American Geriatrics Society recommends that more involvement and contribution to the broader world can improve overall well being. “Social involvement also helps to fight depression, which is more common among those who withdraw from their friends, family, and community. Social isolation is a strong risk factor for health problems and early death.”
Many experts point out that getting out and being active are important to maintaining good physical and mental health. Service agencies that provide Personal Attendants can help aging family members attain a natural solution for continued good physical and mental health.
Recognizing the Signs of Depression
A common but often-overlooked health issue in aging adults is depression. Approximately 20 million Americans will suffer from clinical depression in a given year, many of whom are among the elderly. Follow the link below to learn more about recognizing signs of depression in elder people:
The information in the article is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.
Stanton Lawson is the Co-Owner of Sequoia Senior Solutions. Sequoia’s mission is to ensure a better quality of life for their elderly clients and their families, by providing dependable and affordable in-home care. Sequoia’s focus is to keep you or your loved ones at home and avoid:
- Loss of friends and possessions
- Loss of independence and freedom
- Loss of spirit which is drained by the battles of daily living
Sequoia Senior Solutions, Inc. services Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma and Solano Counties. The main office is located at191 Lynch Creek Way, Suite 102, Petaluma, CA 94954. Email email@example.com Tel: (707) 763-6600 Fax: (707) 763-6607, www.sequoiaseniorsolutions.com.