Understanding Elderly Depression

Depression affects people of all ages from a 16-year school student to a 60-something. But, one group that often gets overlooked when it comes to depression is the elderly. Unfortunately, depressed seniors often fail to recognize the symptoms of depression. Elders are at high risk of depression and it is important to look for common signs. Let’s discuss about the usual signs of elderly depression.


Loss of Self-Worth

If you feel like your loved one has worries about being a burden or feeling of worthlessness, this could be red flag for depression.

Lack of Motivation

Sometimes, lack of motivation in one’s life can also cause depression along the elderly.

Mood Swings

At one moment, the elder is happy and energetic while at other, he is sad, this could also be an underlying issue for elderly depression.

Neglecting Personal Care

When a person does not mind caring for his physical appearance such as no makeup, no clean clothes, messy hair etc, this could be a sign of depression.

elderly depression

Elderly Woman Ninety-year-old Senior Grandma

Recent Illness

Elders find it difficult to recover from major illness or surgery and are likely to develop depression mode.

Loss of a Loved One

If the elder has suffered from the loss of a close friend or relative, it can cause depression. They are at higher risk than younger people to get into depression.

Sleep Disturbances

One of the common symptoms of elderly depression is facing difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep. Oversleeping can also be a cause.

Losing Interest

If your loved one is losing interest in the activities that used to give him pleasure, it could be a sign of depression.

What to Do

Avoid Isolation

The biggest cause behind depression is loneliness. As one ages, he feels lonely and dependent. It is important for seniors to spend quality time with others. Isolation itself can lead to depression.

Involve in Calm Conversation

Even though you are concerned for them but you should not try to force seniors into seeing a doctor or therapist. It can have an opposite effect if you get angry at them. You should try to engage them in a conversation and find out what they might be worried about.

Medication can Help

When the dosages are administrated rightly, medication can work to boost the moods and help them in managing their depression.

Feel Connected and Engaged

The elders should not stay cooped up at home all day. They should go to the park, expand their social network or have a lunch with friends. Try to engage in activities that help seniors to feel better about themselves. Taking care of pet is also a good exercise and a great way to avoid depression.

Do Safe Exercises

The seniors can also keep themselves busy by doing safe exercises that help them build their strength and boost their mood.

Social Activities

Group outings, friends visits or trip to local community center can help seniors to combat isolation and loneliness.

Have Quality Sleep

Many elders struggle with sleep problems and lack of sleep can worsen depression. Seniors should have 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. By avoiding caffeine and alcohol, one can work towards getting better quality sleep.

Get Professional Help

When the signs of elderly depression are acute, one needs to get professional help from caregivers and healthcare professionals. A proper depression treatment plan helps to address the issue and cure the problem. Though most of the elders eventually recover with assistance of caregivers, one should not hesitate in helping a senior loved one to get treatment.
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