Among seniors, depression is actually a pretty common and unfortunate issue. Depression in the elderly can affect all aspects of your loved one’s life and senior care, and there are both causes and symptoms to be you should aware of to spot red flags. Many times, senior depression goes unnoticed for several reasons, including not wanting to discuss feelings of sadness and assuming that depression is just a part of the aging process.
One of the best things that you can do to help your loved one and protect their senior care is to learn about both the causes and the symptoms of senior depression – Especially if you’re the one in charge of your loved one’s care. By being aware, you can potentially catch the onset of depression or stop it from ever happening.
Help stop senior depression in its tracks by being aware of the causes below:
- Health Issues: Including chronic and severe pain; a cognitive decline; illnesses or disabilities.
- Recent Bereavements: Has your loved one experienced a recent loss of friends, family members, a pet, or a spouse/partner?
- Medical Conditions: Sometimes certain conditions can trigger depression, such as Parkinson’s Disease, thyroid disorders, Cancer and Lupus.
- Fears: Being afraid of death or dying; anxiety from health and/or financial issues.
- Loneliness and Isolation: The inability to drive or having decreased mobility; a declining social circle due to living alone.
- Loss of Sense of Purpose: No longer being able to engage in activities once enjoyed due to physical limitations; loss of identity or purpose when entering retirement.
Listed below are some symptoms of senior depression.
- Poor sleeping habits
- Loss of interest and activities; lack of motivation and energy
- Weight loss and/or loss of appetite
- Slower speech and/or movements
- Neglecting personal care
- Sadness and despair; feelings of hopelessness; loss of self-worth
- Aches and pains that are unexplained
- The use of alcohol or other drugs (or increased use)
- Thoughts of suicide or death
If you are concerned that your loved one may be suffering from depression, it’s important to start a conversation about their emotional health. An in-home senior care plan can be a good place to start.
The Balanced Care Method from Home Care Assistance supports both the physical and emotional health of adults as they age. If you would like to learn more about how we can help combat loneliness and depression in your loved one, contact us today.