Loss of memory and cognitive function can be traumatic to older adults, particularly when the loss is moderate and individuals remain aware of the gaps in information. In many cases, a diagnosis of amnesia or a debilitating disease such as Alzheimer's can instill feelings of helplessness and depression in seniors concerned for their future cognitive function. Frequent forgetfulness, trouble remembering past conversations, and even the realization that unfamiliar acquaintances are family members can be devastating to both the individual experiencing problems as well as their relatives. Despite the understandable implications of an amnesia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis on patient morale, it is important to act quickly to derail depression to prevent further harm. Depression has been linked to amnesia through research, and combating this state of mind is crucial to maintaining an individual’s quality of life.
Seek Emotional Support
One of the most influential ways to improve the demeanor of someone suffering from depression due to degeneration of the mind is to encourage them to join support groups where they can interact with individuals battling similar experiences and feelings, foster relationships, and take an active role in their diagnosis. Taking charge and working to improve the situation can be empowering to older adults, and can provide them with the opportunity to help others encountering similar doubts and concerns. In the event that the individual is uninterested in social support, one-on-one support can be found in counselors trained to teach seniors to manage negative emotions derived from such a diagnosis.
Make Time for Hobbies
In addition to socialization, it is important to ensure seniors suffering from depression engage in activities which draw attention away from the idea of diminishing cognitive function by challenging them, demonstrating their importance to society, and reminding them that fun can be found in everything. Scheduling time for the individual’s favorite activities, outings with friends, or even volunteering for community events can distract them from negative thoughts and improve their mood. While it is unlikely an individual will be happy knowing they will be inconvenienced by drifting thoughts, they are bound to have a more fulfilling life as they come to terms with the reality of the diagnosis if they remain active.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
As natural approaches to treating depression are not always entirely successful, it may be necessary to consider antidepressant medications. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are a form of antidepressant medications which are less likely to interact adversely with commonly prescribed medications, making them ideal candidates for seniors who take several different medications.
Consider Specialized Care
Should depression become more serious, it may be advantageous to consider memory care in Grand Rapids. Additionally, for families who may struggle aiding their loved ones through this challenging time, a senior living facility in Grand Rapids may be ideal.