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Avoid Depression in Seniors With Chronic Illness: Tips for Finding the Joy

happy senior man playing with his dog
Seniors with chronic illness can take steps to enjoy the moment, with their best years ahead of them.

Have you ever started your day and thought, “It’s definitely going to be one of those days!” Perhaps your alarm didn’t go off, the hot water heater opted to stop working, and the dog chewed up one of your favorite shoes overnight. Now consider if every day were “one of those days!” For someone living with a chronic disease, which includes much of the elderly population, the daily struggles and challenges are part of the routine.

However, there are many steps that senior adults can take to find and maintain a life of joy and ward off depression, even while facing the challenges of living with a chronic illness. For example:

  • Follow passions. Finding purpose and meaning in each and every day is crucial – and attainable. Many older adults uncover gratification in assisting and encouraging other people. Others thrive on being lifelong learners. For some, it could mean recording the past for the next generation. Brainstorm ideas until you arrive at one that sparks passion, and then make it a reality.
  • Practice positivity. One easy way to obtain an even more positive outlook on life is by journaling. Encourage a senior family members to begin each day by developing a list of everything they are thankful for that morning, even the seemingly ordinary: the smell of fresh coffee brewing, a pet curled up in a sunbeam, an upcoming lunch date with a friend. At the end of each week, sit together and read back through the prior entries for a quick and practical pick-me-up.
  • Try to avoid negativity. Including a measure of positivity as discussed above can naturally lead to decreased negativity, but there are further steps which can be undertaken as well. For instance, provide for breaks from tasks that induce aggravation, permitting needed time to de-stress. Put the focus on undertaking tasks that may be accomplished successfully, and discover an alternative solution for those that are too challenging, such as delegating those tasks to another family member or friend, or employing the services of a qualified professional.
  • Get away from the house. Sustaining an active lifestyle outside of the home is often so exhilarating for seniors. Help older loved ones get out for hair appointments, shopping excursions, and visits with good friends, along with other fun outings, as much as they are comfortable doing so. Even simply going outside and relaxing on the front porch when weather allows can substantially enhance a person’s mood and outlook.

At CareFor, it is our aim to help older adults achieve the highest possible quality of life at all times. Our well-trained and knowledgeable caregivers provide pleasant companionship, interesting activities, transportation, and we also offer care management services to help coordinate care and assist with making care choices. See our full service area and call us at (512) 338-4533 to discover the difference our senior care in Sunset Valley and the surrounding area can make for your loved one!