Depression and Seniors: What To Know

Depression and seniors, what you need to know. 

As seniors age, their life as they once knew it changes.  Whether it is retiring from a job and now they do not have the social interaction that they are used to or losing a loved one to a medical condition, these changes can be devastating.  Especially these days, with COVID, more seniors are staying at home and family is not visiting like they used to causing your loved ones to become isolated; which can lead to loneliness.  Over time, the loneliness and isolation can lead to depression.

Don’t be confused, when it comes to depression in seniors, this is not a normal part of aging.  More than ever it is important to check in on your loved one even if it can’t be in person , make a video call so you can see how they are doing.  If depression is left untreated it can lead to other health issues, plus make it more difficult for your loved one to recover from an illness.  Depression affects their appetite, physical activity, sleep patterns, socialization, and impacts their quality of life. Knowing and recognizing the signs of depression in seniors is vital for your loved one’s well being and overall health

Signs of Depression in Seniors

Not all seniors dealing with depression will have the same signs and feeling sad is not always an indicator.  Not all seniors will show signs of sadness.  Some seniors may feel like they are being a burden on their family and do not want to share how they are feeling, that is why it is important to notice changes in your loved one and to ask questions. Some common signs are:

  • No appetite or have a change in their appetite.
  • Changes in their sleep pattern, this can be sleeping all of the time or not being able to sleep (insomnia).
  • Lack of energy.
  • Lost of interest in activities they used to enjoy doing.
  • Not caring for themselves, their personal hygiene is lacking.
  • Showing signs of memory problems.
  • Complaining about aches and pains not associated with a medical condition.

If you do notice any of these signs, don’t ignore any sign of depression.  it is important to talk with your family member and make an appointment with their physician. Their physician will be able to evaluate them for depression, plus review their medications in case depression is a side effect of one of their medications.  

Depression can come about from an illness, injury, or due to changes of activities because of COVID.  If you are unable to visit your family member regularly, a caregiver can provide the companionship that your loved one needs.  Having a caregiver a few times a week for a few hours each day can help with depression in seniors.  It will give your loved one something to look forward, while providing you with peace of mind.  Caregivers can do activities, hobbies, meal preparation, housekeeping, and provide conversation so your loved one doesn’t feel so isolated. This can decrease the feelings of depression and help your loved one feel like themselves again.

Contact us today (480) 618-5995 to discuss how one of our caregivers can make a difference!

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