18 June 2019
Old age at times brings with it depression and loneliness and in an effort to educate the elderly on how to cope with it, Dr. Hardeep Singh, Senior Consultant, Psychiatry delivered a talk to Mohali Senior Citizens Association at Fortis Hospital here today.
The talk marked the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Swaran Singh Chaudhary, Vice Chairman, Mohali Senior Citizens Association anchored the event.
Dr. Hardeep said a realisation that life is closer to the end than the beginning. Yet many people are often happier as they age than they were in their 20s or 30s and there could be several reasons attached to it.
He said People can become socially isolated for a variety of reasons such as getting older, weaker, no longer being the hub of their family, leaving the workplace, disability or illness, and the deaths of spouses and friends.
Whatever the cause, it’s shockingly easy to be left feeling alone and vulnerable, which can lead to depression and a serious decline in physical health and well-being. Someone who is lonely probably also finds it hard to reach out. There is a stigma surrounding loneliness and older people tend not to ask for help because they have too much pride.
Talking on several ways for older people to connect with others and feel useful and appreciated again, he said, one should grab every chance to smile at others or begin a conversation – for instance with the cashier at the shop or the person next to you in the Hospital waiting room or the dhobi or milkman. If you’re shy or not sure what to say, try asking people about themselves.
If you’re feeling down and alone, it’s tempting to think that no-one wants to visit you. But often, friends, family and neighbours will appreciate receiving an invitation to come and spend some time with you. Having a chat with a friend or relative over the phone can be the next best thing to being with them.
The doctor suggested regular walk or visit to the park. If you cannot walk for medical reasons, then try to do sitting or lying down exercises for 15-20 minutes in the morning and evening.
Dr. Hardeep said it was important to identify a task daily like going to the bank or organising your cupboard or just filing your papers methodically or go to the Lake etc. It has been seen that being mindful helps- so when in the park, focus on that for 15 minutes. Remind yourself to pay attention to little details- the trees, birds, children. Switch off your mind from other thoughts. He also suggested to see the doctor when signs of depression do not seem to go away.