When many people think of depression, they think of sadness. While some may experience feelings of despair with depression, there are other important symptoms to look out for. According to recent studies, about 25 percent of seniors suffer from depression. Understand the symptoms of depression in seniors so treatment can be sought immediately.
Symptoms and Treatment of Depression in Seniors
Symptoms of depression in elderly loved ones
If senior family members are living on their own, elderly depression symptoms might be hard to spot. It’s a good rule of thumb to visit or call senior family members at least once a day, especially if they:
- Live alone and/or are single/widowed
- Have suffered from a traumatic health experience
- Are going through a transitional phase
When looking for symptoms of depression, watch how your senior family member acts and listen to what they say. Symptoms of depression include:
- Sadness or feeling hopeless
- Changes in their sleeping patterns (sleeping too much or little)
- Loss of energy
- Appearance of new physical pains
- Lack of interest in hobbies or socializing
- Trouble remembering things
- Decrease in movement and speech
- Increase of alcohol use
- Ignoring personal hygiene
- Skipping meals
Treating depression in seniors
It’s hard to see a family member in physical or mental pain. The good news is there are quite a few options on how to help an elderly person with depression. Depending on where a depressed senior loved one is living, treatment options could be as easy as changing their daily routine or as difficult as finding an alternative care option.
Depression in the elderly in nursing homes is not uncommon. Many of the seniors living in these communities are left to fend for themselves when it comes to activities and socializing. To protect your loved one from further depression, it may be worth considering moving them back home and seeking out an elderly day care. This way, they are taken care of during the day when a caregiver is away, but they’re still surrounded by loving family in a more comfortable setting.
Other treatment options include:
- Encouraging new friendships
- Incorporating daily physical activities
- Spending one-on-one time playing games and talking
- Seeking out medical advice, which could include medication
Fight Depression at Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers
Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers encourages physical activity, daily exercise, and socializing every day. Visit us online to find out how we have helped some of our senior clients fight their way out of depression by finding a new lease on life.