October 1, 2019
Aging comes with its own set of unique mental and physical challenges. Depression is a common disease among adults over the age of 65. Although common, it is not a normal part of the aging process. Depression is a mood disorder that results from a chemical imbalance in the brain. For seniors, depression is often misdiagnosed, overlooked, or attributed to other medical conditions or medications.
These are a few risk factors that may increase depression in seniors:
- Social withdrawals and lack of supportive social circle
- Relocation from home environment
- Stressful life events such as the death of a spouse, divorce, medical event, etc.
- Drastic weight changes
- Extreme changes in sleep pattern
- Chronic pain or poor health
Here are some common signs of senior depression:
- Feelings of sadness and hopelessness that last more than two weeks
- A sense of worthlessness
- Loss of interest in things they once enjoyed
- Increase in irritability, anxiety, and restlessness
- Feeling fatigued
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Changes in appetite
- Substance abuse, including drinking, smoking and using more drugs than prescribed
An important point to remember is that clinical depression can be treated. If left untreated, depression in seniors will result in a poor quality of life, substance abuse, increased mortality, and possibly suicide. If you or someone in your life develops some of these signs of depression the first step is to seek medical help from a physician or mental health professional.
January 6, 2019
There are a lot of great free and low-cost services available to seniors in their own communities that they sometimes may not be aware of. Senior residents over the age of 50 that live in the city of Downey, California can utilize these services offered at the Barbara J. Riley Community and Senior Center.
Please note that these services are accurate at the time of writing this post but we suggest you call the Barbara J. Riley Community and Senior Center at (562) 904-7223 to confirm.
Help With Federal Services
A Caseworker from Congresswoman Lucile Roybal-Allard’s office is available every 2nd Tuesday of the month from 10 AM to 12 PM to assist with the following Federal services:
- Internal Revenue Service
- United States Postal Service
- Social Security
- Veteran Affairs
- and other Federal Issues
Medicare Assistance (65+)
On every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month assistance is available for Medicare, Medicare Part D, Medicare supplements, Prescription plans, Supplemental insurance and much more.
Income Tax Assistance
Starting February 1st through April 14th, the AARP provides tax preparation on Monday’s and Wednesday’s from 8 AM to 4 PM. Walk-in’s are welcome but appointments are recommended. To make an appointment, call (562) 904-7223.
On the 2nd Tuesday of every month from 12 PM to 2 PM, free legal advice is provided by The Law Office of Carolyn Sloan. Seniors are able to get 15 minutes of legal advice. Schedule an appointment by calling (562) 904-7223. Please note that times may be changed.
Food and Meal Services for a Small Fee
The Congregate Meal Program
During weekdays, the Congregate Meal Program serves up a hot lunch at 11:45 AM. Reservations are required a day in advance in order to accommodate participants. Meals are provided in exchange for a donation of $2.25 and $6.00 for accompanying caregivers. To make a reservation, call (562) 862-8800. Please note that meals will not be served on days that the facility is closed.
Downey Meals on Wheels, Inc.
For more information and to sign up for the program, contact Downey Meals on Wheels, Inc.:
10909 New Street
Downey, CA 90241
(562) 622 – 5636
Greg at [email protected]
September 24, 2018
September is National Healthy Aging Month. Our mission at Home Instead Senior Care is to enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Our goal every day is to change the face of aging and help enable older adults to remain in their homes longer and healthy aging plays a large role in that.
To understand successful aging, it’s important to first know what gives aging a negative vibe. Many older adults have at least one of these common aging fears, according to CaregiverStress.com:
- Loss of independence
- Declining health
- Running out of money
- Not being able to live at home
- Death of a spouse or other family member
- Inability to manage their own activities of daily living
- Not being able to drive
- Isolation or loneliness
- Strangers caring for them
- Fear of falling or hurting themselves
We all have an opportunity to change the mindset of people young and old and help move them from a place of fear to a place of hope. Healthy aging is a holistic approach to a life centered around the mind, body, and soul. Fulfilling these needs at a fundamental level is the groundwork for healthy aging. The following 10 tips for healthy aging can be implemented at any age.
- Be active. Maintain or start an active, healthy lifestyle. Make physical movement a part of every day. Regular exercise can include walking, gardening, stretching, taking the stairs and strength training, such as using light weights or resistance bands. Studies show that people who exercise, not only live longer, but live better.
- Eat well. Increase the number of fruits and vegetables while decreasing sodium and serving sizes. The more colorful the plate, the better!
- Practice Prevention. Ensure the home is a safe environment free of tripping hazards to avoid falls that can be detrimental to healthy aging. It’s also important to not neglect those annual vision, dental and health screenings to stay on top of any health changes.
- Understand your health status. Advocating for your health is your responsibility. While family members and caregivers should be aware of your health status, taking the lead to manage your medications, follow up with your doctor and follow your health plan is a vital component of healthy aging.
- Get enough sleep. The body must rest in order to rejuvenate. Developing a schedule or bedtime routine to regularly get 7-9 hours of sleep per day is critical to successful, healthy aging.
- Cultivate relationships. Stay connected with the people who matter. It’s important to have a support system and social network. Staying socially engaged has been shown to keep the mind active. Use technology like Skype, FaceTime, or social networks to maintain communication and visits with friends and family.
- Engage your brain. It is important to continue to use your mind as you age. Research shows activities that keep the brain active may delay memory decline that leads to dementia. These activities could include reading, writing or doing crossword puzzles. Never stop learning. You’re never too old to learn a new trick.
- Reduce stress. Aging and the changes it brings can cause stress, which may lead to anxiety and depression. A dedicated focus on the good and understanding your stress triggers are key ways to identify and mitigate stress. Find healthy ways to manage stress. Whether it is exercise, journaling or seeking professional counseling, it’s crucial to know how you can successful relieve stress.
- Use your time productively. Make time for the interests you enjoy, both individually and socially. Scheduling these activities will ensure they are done. Volunteering can be a powerful way to engage the mind and soul.
- Embrace aging. Aging is something no one can avoid or run from. Embrace the process and tune into your thoughts and emotions. Ensure they are positive and affirming. Focus on what you can do instead of any limitations you may have.
Don’t let implementing these 10 healthy aging tips overwhelm you! Start small by adding one or two of these tips to your regular routine and more as your mind, body, and soul are ready.