When working with the vintage population, especially individuals with dementia, you often will see signs of geriatric depression. Below is a guide to navigating geriatric depression and creating a positive environment that is supportive to individuals dealing with depressive symptoms.
Start by ruling out medical conditions...
According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-V), we are required to rule out medical conditions before diagnosing a mental condition; medical conditions can cause/exacerbate mental conditions and vice versa.
From a clinician’s standpoint, refer your resident to a physician first for a full physical with a blood work-up and urinalysis.
Screening Residents for Signs & Symptoms
Some of these you may be able to screen and notice on your own but others you may need to refer the resident to a physician for a diagnosis.
Screen for Common Health Issues that Affect Mood
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the inhalation of essential oils to receive limbic support. When you inhale an oil, it travels through your nose, into the olfactory system, and works its way into the limbic system. The limbic system houses your memories and emotions. After you inhale an aroma, your limbic system produces an emotional response, a combination of your previous experiences and the oils specific benefits. For example, if you have fond memories of running around in lavender fields as a child, then inhaling lavender essential oil will elicit happiness and joy for you. In that same aspect, \lavender essential oil is high in linalool, a monoterpene, known for its calming effects. This experience would likely make you feel happy and calm when inhaling lavender.
How to use Aromatherapy
When deciding to use aromatherapy you have a few options of what you can do:
An informative episode on memory care featuring our co-founder, Dr. Jennifer Stelter, on The Alden Network Podcast.
Excerpt from The Alden Network Podcast:
Has your loved one’s memory care issues developed into a decreased ability for them to take care of themselves both physically and mentally?
Because those aging with memory care needs may be living alone, often times their healthy habits dwindle due to short-term memory loss, difficulties with initiation, and becoming more frail due to weight loss. They may need more hands-on assistance to take care of their activities of daily living.
In this narrative on Memory care Psychologist Dr. Jennifer Stelter shares the 5 top indicators that your loved one may be ready for and need Memory Care Placement.