A potential ticket to avoiding depression

A potential ticket to avoiding depression

A trip to the theatre, a cinema or a museum might be the ticket for seniors looking to avoid depression.

A British study found that older adults who participated in a cultural engagement activity such as going to an art museum, a cinema or an opera every few months had a 32 percent less risk for developing depression. Those who attended once a month or more had a 48 percent less risk.

The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, examined data from more than 2,000 adults ages 50 and above over a 10-year period. All of those studied were free from depression at the start of the study.

Study authors stated that many factors of cultural engagement, including social interaction, mental creativity, cognitive stimulation and gentle physical activity, could be contributors to the results.

Other experts agree.

“For people who are depressed, one of the worst things they can do is to sit around and be idle,” says Dr. Kevin Krippner, a psychologist with Advocate Medical Group in Bloomington, Ill. “Sitting around seems to make people more depressed, as the tendency is to sit and think about the things in life that are not going well. As such, getting out and doing things seems to help people feel better. Going to the movies or a museum are great activities, especially if they are attended along with friends or family.”

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  1. This is interesting, but I am hearing impaired and it is difficult to find social/cultural activities near where I live. Attending anything I can follow/understand usually involves a long drive and/of night driving. What works for hearing people does not necessarily work for deaf/hearing impaired.

  2. Unfortunately, many older adults can’t get out to socialize, either due to lack of transportation, disabling pain, etc. I wish there were more ways for homebound older adults to interact with society. Many have had family and friends move away, and socializing isn’t easy due to physical barriers. Very sad…

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About the Author

Lynn Hutley
Lynn Hutley

Lynn Hutley, health enews contributor, is coordinator of public affairs and marketing at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center and Advocate Eureka Hospital in central Illinois. Having grown up in a family-owned drug store, it is no surprise that Lynn has spent almost 18 years working in the health care industry. She has a degree in human resources management from Illinois State University and is always ready to tackle Trivia Night.