Companionship, A Natural Antidepressant

Many studies have shown how important companionship is in regard to both mental and physical health.  Douglas Mennin, as assistant professor of psychology at Yale University, points out that “Many older adults are faced with increasingly stressful situations, such as loss of friends, mobility and job, and anxiety is a natural result.”  This kind of anxiety can cause depression and isolation, resulting in a lower quality of life and/or a shorter lifespan.

 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) minor depression is characterized by loss of interest or pleasure in activities, and feelings of sadness or hopelessness.  CDC statistics show that depression strikes about 14 percent of seniors, many of whom are dealing with isolation, loss of friends and family, and debilitating chronic diseases.

One of the best antidotes to depression and isolation is companionship, which can be found in many ways – organized activities through a senior center, joining a church or other organizations, and through agencies that provide companion Personal Attendants, for various activities.

Friends or family members may not have the time or ability to tend to their loved ones’ needs.  Professional Personal Attendants are well known for assisting in Activities of Daily Living (known as ADL’s) such as bathing, cooking, medication reminders, etc., but they are also available at any time to assist in various social activities, which may include simply taking a ride to the beach, going to the hairdresser, getting to a doctor’s appointment, enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, or going to the movies or the theater.    Whatever the need, a personal attendant can provide much needed company and enjoy various activities to help get a person out of the house and into the community when a family member is unavailable.

In a 2005 article, the American Geriatrics Society recommends that more involvement and contribution to the broader world can improve overall well being.  “Social involvement also helps to fight depression, which is more common among those who withdraw from their friends, family, and community.  Social isolation is a strong risk factor for health problems and early death.”

Many experts point out that getting out and being active are important to maintaining good physical and mental health.  Service agencies, like Love 2 Live Care in San Diego, can help aging family members attain a natural solution for continued good physical and mental health.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Love 2 Live for more information or if you need assistance of know someone who could use our caregiving services.  We are here to help you stay in your home, but not alone.