scotttur Asked August 2010

What can my dad can do to keep active and prevent depression?

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My dad suffers from mild Dementia and he was always an active guy. He loved to play cards and be outdoors and now he would rather spend time watching the news. I have blocked most news channels(cuz it makes him negative) and he has a caregiver for 6 hrs a day. I am looking for activities that he can be involved in that will keep him active both physically and mentally. He has recently tried checkers after years of not playing and gets frustrated. Any thoughts?

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There are many causes for depression in the elderly: isolation and lonliness, a decline in health, family history and medications. If your father lives alone, try to get him to get some social interaction with family and friends as often as possible. Lonliness is a big factor in depression. Encourage exercise and healthy eating, so he stays in good shape. Many elders get depressed when they learn they have a disease or life-changing condition. Some medications can cause depression, so be on the look-out for personality changes. Also, depression tends to run in families. If you think your father is suffering from depression, its best to talk to his doctor, who can recommend treatments.
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