How Seniors Can Rediscover Their Joy
by Teresa Greenhill
Everyone experiences times when life seems to lose its luster. When seniors are feeling low, it can go relatively unnoticed. People think because of health issues, medications, or other concerns, it’s just part of aging. However, it’s not normal, and there is no need to suffer. If you or someone you love is struggling to overcome the blues, there are ways to rediscover joy.
Sometimes, it’s hard to know if someone is having a bad day, sorting through some issues, or experiencing a period of depression. As Psycom points out, depression is particularly difficult to catch in older adults. In many cases, the symptoms often look like other issues, such as side effects from medications or a chronic health condition. However, symptoms that tend to last for two weeks or longer could indicate depression. Here are some red flags that you or someone you love might be suffering from depression:
- Social withdrawal
- Ongoing sadness or frequent crying
- Difficulty being still, unusual pacing, or ongoing fidgeting
- Medical or financial worries
- Weight fluctuations
Feeling sad or down on occasion is a fact of life, but when it comes to facing ongoing issues like depression, it’s crucial to get help. There is no reason anyone should have to suffer, but a couple of key concerns sometimes hold seniors back from getting help. One of those worries is money. Thankfully, however, mental health services are covered under Medicare Part B. Seniors can reach out to a variety of resources, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers, with up to 80 percent of your visits covered. On top of that, there is also coverage for up to 190 days in a restorative facility should the need arise.
If you need to review your coverage, you can enroll in Part B during the general enrollment period, which is January 1st through March 31st each year. If you are seeking services, you can use a handy online tool to help locate mental health professionals who accept Medicare.
Overcoming the Biggest Hurdle
There is another major concern holding seniors back from getting treatment, and that is an embarrassment. All too often, people don’t ask for the help they require because of the stigma attached to needing mental health treatment. However, as Healthline explains, that is usually a self-perception issue, and it’s vital to reframe ideas about getting treatment for what is actually an illness. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of; so, connect with someone for help.
If you or someone you love is feeling low, simple lifestyle modifications can often make a world of difference. For instance, getting some exercise can help you feel better naturally since it appears to release feel-good chemistry in your mind and body. Try a vigorous walk for just 20 minutes or so per day. Just getting out in the sunshine can help, too, since vitamin D can help lift your mood. Some studies indicate that insomnia and depression can go hand-in-hand, so consider addressing your sleep habits and environment. If you find you’re counting sheep routinely, made adjustments to improve your situation. A quiet, cool, dark bedroom and going to bed at the same time each night are simple but effective measures.
Anyone with ongoing depression is at risk for suicide. In fact, some statistics indicate seniors are the population with the highest suicide rate. If you or someone you care about is depressed, please reach out for help. Here are some of the warnings someone is considering suicide:
- Talk of death or suicide
- Gathering the means, such as weapons or medications
- Making final arrangements
- Unusual talking or writing about death or suicide
We all go through difficult times in life. Sometimes it’s just a low period, but pulling out of it can be tough. If you or a loved one is struggling, it’s crucial to reach out. Make some lifestyle adjustments as needed, get help, and rediscover joy.
You don’t have to go it alone
Depression, sadness, anxiety disorders, stress, and worry can make it difficult to find happiness in your life. We all need support at different times in our lives. Most of our clients seek help when their current way of dealing with life’s challenges no longer works for them. With a caring, non-judgmental and solution-focused approach, we will explore your issues and challenges in a safe therapeutic environment at our private practice in Delray Beach, Florida.
We also offer remote online therapy from the comfort and security of home that will allow you to learn more effective ways of managing your anxiety and stress.
Let’s walk the path to freedom from depression and anxiety together. If you’re ready to let go of the sadness, depression, fears, worries, and anxieties that are making life difficult, check out our Anxiety & Depression Support Group hosted the 1st Tuesday of each month at the Counseling Center for Growth and Recovery.