By, Crystal S. Kauffman, Staff Writer
Parents are an enormous part of a child’s life, as they begin to grow into adulthood. Soon, their children begin growing up and starting their own families. This causes them to become less dependent on their parents, due to their new found responsibilities. Unfortunately, this can create loneliness in the parent, especially when they realize that they have an empty nest. Some seniors are faced with chronic medical problems that seem to rob them of their independence.
Soon, the feelings of loneliness and worthlessness will manage to invade their heart. Sometimes they will begin withdrawing from family functions and begin feeling depressed. Without immediate medical care, the depression will take over their lives and cause them to contemplate suicide. Most seniors feel like they are a burden to their family members or others who may be helping them. Each family member must look for the red flags or warning signs that will let them know how their parent feels.
Look for sudden withdrawals from normal activities, excessive anger or frustration, or feelings of wanting to die. The best way to combat the depression is to understand the symptoms and find them the proper medical help immediately. Financial issues can also lead a retired senior, into thinking that they would be better off dead. However, the only way that families can stop this silent killer, is by being supportive and recognize the signs of depression.
Try making time to be a part of their life daily, if just call them daily and let them talk about whatever you want. Take them out for a movie or to eat at their favorite restaurant, because it is the little things that will help bring them out of their depression. Make the aging parent feel wanted and needed, because it can help families keep their loved one from suffering with depression.
The loneliness can disappear and the aging family member will feel happy and full of love. Honestly, there is no easy way to handle the depression that most seniors face, as they become less independent. Just letting them know someone cares will brighten their day and help them feel special. Create a scrapbook of memories to share with them and let them pick out their favorite pictures.
Sometimes, just spending the day with them will let enjoy their grandchildren, as well as their adult child. Never ignore the warning signs of depression or loneliness in an aging parent. Step in and do little things like laundry or cooking, because that will allow them to spend time doing their favorite hobby like puzzles or sewing.
Reference: Personal Experience
©2010, Crystal S. Kauffman