HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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It is easy to succumb to the dark clutches of depression at any stage of life. Life is full of surprises and twists, and not all of them have a positive effect on the psyche. However, once a senior is in the grasp of depression, it is often difficult for them to find release. More than 6.5 million Americans aged 65 years and up are affected by depression.


What is Depression?


Depression is most often characterized by being sad. But depression can be so much more than that. In fact, for many seniors with depression, sadness is not their main symptom. More prominent symptoms may include trouble sleeping, feeling irritable or tired, being confused or having attention problems. Because of this, depression can sometimes look like Alzheimer’s disease or other health conditions. Some medications can also exacerbate the effects and length of depression.


Depression in seniors is more likely to lead to other health problems, including a heart attack. Likewise, depression can keep a senior from rehabilitating at an optimal pace. Depression can also increase the risk of suicide. The suicide rate for seniors aged 80 to 84 years is nearly twice that of the overall population. Fortunately, some preventative measures can be taken to deter or prevent such gloomy depths in our later years.   

SENIORS CAN TAKE STEPS TO DETER DEPRESSION


How Seniors Can Take Steps to Deter Depression


Find a Purpose in Life. Depression has been shown to lead to cognitive decline and may increase the risk for dementia. Establishing a purpose in life has a mitigating effect on depression and cognitive decline. A recent study used many factors – such as age, race, number of living siblings and whether the participants had a significant other – to compare the rates at which the participants suffered from mental deterioration. The results were encouraging. Finding a purpose in life is shown to prevent, or at least slow, the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive degeneration. Since depression is often formed due to an adverse medical diagnosis, like Alzheimer’s disease, having a purpose in life may also curtail the resulting depressive symptoms as well.

 

Engage in Interpersonal-individual Activities. It is no surprise that staying active, enjoying hobbies and growing friendships have a beneficial effect on mental health. Interestingly, some activities have much more benefit than others. A study on senior health shows elders who spend time with specific family

members or friends enjoy a greater level of protection from late-life depression. Those taking part in solitary or general social group activities did not realize as significant results.


Stay Physically Active. While not all seniors can engage in high-intensity interval training, many seniors can start somewhere. Encourage a senior to offer dog walking services to a friend who may be ill or park at the far end of the parking lot at the grocery store. A senior with more physical abilities might take part in the National Seniors Games. Competitions include bowling, horseshoes, power walking, shuffleboard, softball, and more.


Resolve Regrets. How can a senior work towards resolving regret? Maybe the senior can obtain closure by writing a letter to someone involved in the remorseful situation. The senior may find peace by explaining that they are sorry and wished things would have worked out differently. If a senior has lost contact with a family member, it might be possible to rekindle that relationship in a healthy way.


Everyone wants to be happy. No reasonable person desires to succumb to sadness and depression, especially at a time when one should be celebrating their life and enjoying the years they have left. While seeking professional medical advice would be a recommended first step should a senior start experiencing signs of depression, there are some things a senior can do to deter depression. This includes finding a purpose in life, connecting with specific friends or family members who bring them joy, staying physically active, and resolving their regrets. The Mediterranean diet might even do the trick! Mental and physical health are intertwined, and helping our beloved seniors stay happy and healthy benefits us all.  

Mail: eldercare@eldercarelegacy.com