Behind the Mask: 6 Tell-Tale Signs of Elderly Depression
“Everyone feels sad or blue sometimes. It is a natural part of life. But when the sadness persists and interferes with everyday life, it may be depression. Depression is not a normal part of growing older. It is a treatable medical illness, much like heart disease or diabetes.”
—Geriatric Mental Health Foundation
Depression among the young population is alarmingly increasing in rate. The same is true for the senior group. The difference is that most people fail to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression among the elders, believing that they are just a natural part of old age. Well, they are not. Advance Help Home Care, a provider of home care services in Katy, Texas, lays down the early warning signs of elderly depression:
- Profound sadness or feelings of despair.
Have you noticed your loved one feeling sad most of the times? No matter how many jokes you throw at them or how many comedy films you watch, it seems that their mood is not changing. Your elderly loved one might be going through some rough time. Encourage them to open up to you.
- Loss of interest in things they used to enjoy.
“I never see my elderly loved one baking anymore. Maybe they are just tired.” MAYBE. But it could be a sign of depression. Elders who suffer from depression lack motivation or energy to do things they used to really love.
- Difficulty sleeping.
This includes trouble getting to sleep, waking up very early, or sleeping too much. Thinking too much about things can make a senior develop a sleeping problem. One way you can determine whether your loved one has not slept or has not slept well is by simply asking them about their sleeping habits. The key is to initiate communication.
- Thoughts of suicide or death.
How do you know that your elderly family member is thinking about death? They usually bring it up in your conversations (“If I die…”, “I wonder what it feels like to die…”, etc.) Sometimes, they give subtle hints, like they start giving away their most prized possessions. Take these as cues to start a conversation and offer to help them deal with the sadness they feel.
- Displaying negative attitude.
It is hard to ascertain whether or not your elderly loved one has depression because some of its signs are normally attributed to old age. Let us take for example drastic mood swings. Old people are known to be grumpy. They can feel easily agitated and irritated even about small things. It’s best to be observant if such behaviors are becoming unhealthier by the day.
- Changes in their physical appearance.
Mental health has a significant effect on a person’s physical health. Elders who have depression usually experience sudden weight loss. It is either they are not eating anything or they are eating unhealthy foods.
Stop leaving your loved one alone at home. Give them someone who can lend them a hand with their basic daily activities, as well as someone who can provide them a listening ear.
Advance Help Home Care is a home care in Katy, Texas. One of the services we offer is companionship. To get more info about this service, do not hesitate to contact 281-717-8045.