More than two in five seniors living in Long Term Care facilities are diagnosed with or have symptoms of depression (CIHI, 2010). One of the factors contributing to depression and often the resulting suicide of many Seniors is cited as being social isolation and loneliness. Boredom is another factor.
Based on in-depth interviews with 65 older nursing home residents, a study by Namkee G. Choi, Sandy Ransom & Richard J. Wyllie study examined the residents’ own understanding and perceptions of depressive symptoms, causes of their depression, their self-reported coping strategies, and their preferences for acceptable depression interventions. About half (n = 32) of all interviewees stated that they were either feeling depressed or experiencing negative effects.
The major themes related to the causes of their depression were:
- loss of independence,
- freedom and continuity with their past life;
- feelings of social isolation and loneliness;
- lack of privacy and frustration at the inconvenience of having a roommate and sharing a bathroom;
- loss of autonomy due to the institutional regimen and regulations;
- ambivalence toward cognitively impaired residents;
- ever-present death and grief;
- staff turnover and shortage; and
- stale programming and lack of meaningful in-house activities.
Self-reported coping mechanisms included religion and stoicism, a sense of reality, positive attitude and family support.
In regard to depression treatment, the interviewees appeared to prefer nursing home programs that reduce their isolation over group or individual psychotherapy.
IPS Safety Inc. has heard the cry for help, and we have been examining some of the most effective strategies for reducing their isolation, as well as the isolation of the majority of Seniors (95%) who do not live in nursing homes/Long Term Care facilities. Whereas all our products go a long way to providing more contact with others and especially Caregivers, as well as security for Seniors and peace of mind and savings for their Caregivers, we will soon reveal our latest, additional solution.
Robin Elliott IPSsafety.com