Date: July 28, 2021

Author: Kathleen Boziwick

When your aging parent is struggling with depression or isolation, it can be really tough to know how to help, especially when you live distantly or are busy with other obligations. Fortunately, there are ways to help support older adults when they are living with depression – and elderĀ care aides can be a big help!

Support Healthy Sleeping Patterns

Sleeping problems can make depression worse. Support healthy sleeping patterns, which emphasize daytime activity and a regular bedtime routine.

  • Elder care aides can take a senior for a walk or to the senior center for a swim
  • ElderĀ care aides can help provide a relaxing bedtime routine, complete with sleepytime tea, a warm bubble bath and lavender lotion.

Provide Opportunities for Meaningful Activity

Having purposeful activities available that feel like a valuable way to spend time can help seniors prevent or overcome depression. Find an activity that they personally value, and elderly care can help them overcome any obstacles that may be in their way.

  • Painting, arts, crafts or other hobbies
  • Cooking or keeping house
  • Pet care
  • Gardening
  • Volunteer for charity
  • Transportation to church

Support Social Interaction

Social interaction is key for optimal mental and emotional health, but it can become more of a challenge for seniors who may have medical conditions that limit their stamina, or ability to get out or engage with others. Elder care aides are a great source of socialization in and of themselves, and they can also support socialization in other ways.

  • Assisting with video chats with distant family members
  • Driving the senior to social events
  • Helping with cooking or other chores around the house so they can conserve energy for more important engagements

Keeping Active

Physical activity is so important for the mental and physical health of older adults. Elderly care aides can support physical activity in a lot of different ways.

  • Transportation to a gym, pool or yoga class – and they help get changed or showered before and afterwards!
  • Going for a daily walk to the park or around the block

Healthy Diet

Eating well has been identified as an important contributor to mental and physical health, but eating healthy gets to be more and more of a challenge as seniors age. Even getting to the grocery store or preparing the food can be tough. Elder care aides can help:

  • Take the senior shopping, or doing so on their behalf
  • Assist the senior in cooking, or doing so for them
  • Preparing easy, healthy meals and snacks ahead of time for them to eat
  • Remind and encourage seniors to eat and drink
  • Provide valuable companionship at mealtime, which can increase intake and make the meal more enjoyable

Taking Care of a Pet

The benefits of pet ownership for seniors are well documented, but it’s not always easy or reasonable for a senior to keep up with their care on their own. Elderly care aides can help out with the challenging parts so the senior can keep reaping the benefits of a furry best friend.

  • Clean cat litter box
  • Walk dog (with or without the senior)
  • Feed and water pets
  • Clean a bird cage
  • Picking up pet supplies from the store
  • Take animal to the vet

Elderly care aides can do so much to help support your senior loved one’s physical and mental health. The type of support that each senior needs varies by individual, so call and talk to the elderly care agency about what your loved one might need.


10 Ways to Help Seniors Deal with Isolation and Depression – DailyCaring