Thrive II Preview

The Importance of Addressing the Signs of Depression in Seniors

Posted by on June 16, 2020 in Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

Depression is a common issue among older adults, but it’s not a normal part of aging. Currently, about 7 million Americans over the age of 65 have reported signs and symptoms of depression. Has a senior close to you expressed uneasiness, sadness, or stress due to recent life changes?

Your loved one might be going through a difficult time, and you might not even know it. Many seniors feel ashamed when they experience sadness. There’s a stigma around mental health that has existed for centuries, and it’s high time that society gets over that hump.

Growing old can feel incredibly lonely. As people age, friends and family members start to pass away. Daily activities, such as shopping for groceries, become progressively challenging when individuals develop mobility issues and severe conditions like Alzheimer's.

There are many reasons why seniors experience depression — aging can be incredibly overwhelming.

The Causes of Depression in Seniors

Many people experience depression as a side effect of other concurrent mental health issues. These people may have mood disorders such as Bipolar Disorder or Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and bouts of depression might not be such a shock for their family members (although still serious and should be addressed). These disorders are due to brain chemistry or even family genetics.

However, many other seniors experience depression or anxiety for the very first time in their older years. Causes for this include:

  • Feelings of isolation and loneliness
  • Constant financial worry due to limited funds and living off of a small, government pension
  • Living in perpetual physical pain caused by illness and disease
  • Fear of getting older and what the future might hold

Conversations about mental health are never easy with seniors because many older adults don’t want to discuss feelings with others. Many might consider it a burden. However, if you notice anything unusual about your loved one, it’s essential to approach them — with compassion and kindness — and ask them if they’d like to talk about what’s going on.

The Symptoms of Depression in Seniors

The signs and symptoms of depression can be subtle, but it’s often easy to see personality changes in someone you love. Talk to their doctor if you’re concerned that something might be going on. And if you believe that they’re lonely, consider hiring a professional home healthcare service such as Integracare — they provide at-home personal support and compassionate caregivers that come right to your loved one’s home. They provide engaging companionship and can be there when you can’t, and can help you to spot depression in your friend or family member.

There are several symptoms to look for, but here are some common signs of depression in seniors:

  • They're withdrawn and don't engage with friends.
  • Eating habits have changed, and you've noticed that they've lost weight.
  • They’ve become very irritable and even angry at times.
  • When you visit them, the house is untidy. The curtains and blinds are always drawn.
  • It looks like they've stopped caring about their physical appearance — perhaps there are dark circles under their eyes due to lack of sleep.

Depression is a dark place to be, but it doesn’t last forever. With a little compassion, understanding, and long-term professional support, your loved one will soon feel like themselves again.

Tags: , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

New Title

NOTE: Email is optional. Do NOT enter it if you do NOT want it displayed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use' must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Send this to a friend