As our parents get older we have to again focus on outside care.   This is not much different than placing our children in daycare. We have to consider some of the same things such as who will be taking care of them, what diseases can they get, etc.  The cost of nursing homes or assistant living is also one of great expense.  Research shows that nursing homes can run up to $168.00 a day.  You may say, “That is what insurance is for.”  Medicare only pays a portion of this leaving the patient sometimes with 70% of the daily cost left owed.   Nursing homes hold the same threats as daycares.  The quality of care in the nursing home industry has increasingly declined over the past decade. A number of recent studies indicate that residents in nursing homes suffer abuse and neglect more and more frequently at the hands of nursing home corporations. In many cases residents have died or have been severely abused as a result of neglect.

According to the National Institutes of Health, of the 35 million Americans age 65 or older, about 2 million suffer from full-blown depression. Another 5 million suffer from less severe forms of the illness. In the same article it list several causes of depression, such as, Loneliness and Reduced sense of Health problems Medications Recent bereavement.  Our program addresses all of these causes on a daily basis. Again, we are not portraying the role of a medical doctor, but do feel that we can reduce some of the causes listed.  The article gives tips of how to help with depression; they are as follows, Invite your loved one out. Schedule regular social activities Plan and prepare healthy meals. Make sure all medications are taken as instructed.   A.P.E. offers all of these to the elderly and much more.  We want to keep our elderly in the community for as long as possible.  Depression as serious as it is can be treated but death cannot.  Abuse in nursing homes is more common than we know. Even with federal regulations in place abuse in nursing homes still occur.  This abuse can often lead to death.

Causes and risk factors that contribute to depression in the elderly include:


      1. Loneliness and isolation – Living alone; a dwindling social circle due to deaths or relocation; decreased mobility due to illness or loss of driving privileges.
      2. Reduced sense of purpose - Feelings of purposelessness or loss of identity due to retirement or physical limitations on activities.
      3. Health problems – Illness and disability; chronic or severe pain; cognitive decline; damage to body image due to surgery or disease.
      4. MedicationsMany prescription medications can trigger or    exacerbate depression.
      5. Fears Fear of death or dying; anxiety over financial problems or health issues.
      6. Recent bereavement - The death of friends, family members, and pets; the loss of a spouse or partner.

National Institutes on Health States Ways To Help Depression:


      1. Getting out in to the world Try not to stay cooped up at home all day. Go to the park, take a trip to the hairdresser, or have lunch with a friend.
      2. Connecting to others Limit the time you’re alone. If you can’t get out to socialize, invite loved ones to visit you, or keep in touch over the phone or email.
      3. Participating in activities you enjoy - Pursue whatever hobbies or pastimes bring or used to bring you joy.
      4. Enjoying jokes and stories – Laughter provides a mood boost, so swap humorous stories and jokes with your loved ones, watch a comedy, or read a funny book.  
      5. Maintaining a healthy diet – Avoid eating too much sugar and junk food. Choose healthy foods that provide nourishment and energy, and take a daily multivitamin.
      6. Exercising - Even if you’re ill, frail, or disabled, there are many safe exercises you can do to build your strength and boost your mood—even from a chair or wheelchair.