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A senior woman getting mental health counseling at a skilled nursing facility.

Risks of Depression among Residents in Skilled Nursing Homes

0 Comment Category: Foothill Heights

Seniors are often seen to be at an increased risk of developing depression when they move to a skilled nursing home for long-term care. This is because they find it emotionally challenging to leave their familial home and relocate to a new place, even though it is for ensuring their better health. That is why it is very important to choose a skilled nursing home, which has trained and experienced staff to adequately manage the needs of their residents.

Nursing home residents need proper mental health care. In some cases, the move to the long-term care facility can also worsen their existing mental health conditions. Studies report that around 50% of the seniors living in skilled nursing care homes show some symptoms of depression. This could be unrealistic fears, negative statements, tearfulness, and constant feelings of unhappiness, worry, or anger. Below are some of the common risk factors for depression in skilled nursing homes. Contact Foothill Heights Care Center to learn how we can help your senior loved one deal with the possibility of depression.

Loss and Grief

The loss of a loved one or friend can be a significant triggering factor for depression. Seniors feel very distressed when someone they are very close to passes away. This grief can gradually take a toll on their mental health and they start feeling hopeless and helpless. Eventually, they stop following their normal day-to-day routines. This can be serious for seniors and calls for special attention.

Isolation

When seniors move to a long-term care facility, they start feeling isolated from their friends and family. They know that they cannot leave the skilled nursing care home to visit their loved ones or be there on special occasions as they used to. This causes strong feelings of loneliness in seniors, which gradually leads to depression. That is why family members are recommended to schedule regular visits to the nursing home to make the transition smoother.

Declining Health

Aging causes worsening of the overall health in everyone and leads to many types of ailments such as mobility issues and frequent pain. These conditions affect the quality of life of seniors in skilled nursing homes as they find it difficult to manage their daily activities. This slowly triggers the feelings of helplessness and despair, and causes the development of many other symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Cognitive decline in seniors is also a contributing factor of depression, as it affects mood and leads to irritation and agitation. Likewise, other conditions like hearing loss, partial loss of vision, and incontinence can lead to feelings of embarrassment, and seniors would prefer not to take part in gatherings and community workshops in the skilled nursing home. Isolating themselves gradually leads to intense feelings of loneliness and increases the risks of depression.

Be sure to carefully select a skilled nursing home, so that you and your senior loved one will know that the staff present will have the skills and experience to help avoid depression in residents.

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