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Reducing Depression in Nursing Home Residents

Reducing Depression in Nursing Home ResidentsReducing Depression in Nursing Home Residents

In March of 2014, we discussed some tactics that nursing home staff could use to potentially prevent depression in Alzheimer’s patients. The fact of the matter is though; it’s not just nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s disease that suffer from depression. In fact, both major and minor depression is widespread in the nursing home population. This observation is not surprising when you look at how most nursing home residents have a decrease in physical activity, decline in functional competence, and loss of personal autonomy.

According to a 2013 Clinical Gerontologist study done by Tracy Chippendale, PhD, OTR/L, “Depressive symptoms are expected to become a leading cause of the global burden of disease, second only to cardiovascular disease, by the year 2020.” Given these ominous statistics, it’s time for nursing home staff to start thinking about what they can do within their own facilities to potentially ease the burden and help their nursing home residents feel less depressed.

According to Chippendale, one of the factors that could greatly reduce depression is social support; creating opportunities for nursing home residents to “matter”. She offered some ideas on how to do this, listed below.

Recruit them to be a “welcoming committee”: Nursing home staff can encourage established nursing home residents to welcome those who are entering the facility for the first time, offering them information and moral support.

Provide leadership roles: Chippendale states that offering residents the opportunity to participate in community decisions is good for the residents and for the community.

Intergenerational programming: Your nursing home likely has residents who don’t have young relatives nearby. Programs that offer continuity of connections, such as pairing youngsters and seniors for visits and activities, are mutually beneficial to those involved.

These are just a few ideas on reducing depression in nursing home residents. Encouraging a healthier environment amongst your facility can lead to a more positive environment, not to mention potentially fewer risks. At DigniCARE, we’re poised to help you meet the challenges of a changing environment in the senior living industry, where the goal is to elevate the quality of life for nursing home and assisted living residents. Our services encompass innovative solutions for nursing homes insuranceassisted living facilitiesindependent living facilities, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC). To learn more please call (855) 883-6306.

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