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Recognizing Signs of Depression in Your Loved One

By , 9:09 am on

Depression is a common issue, particularly among seniors and the elderly. Senior depression often will even go unnoticed for long periods of time, due to a reluctance of discussing feelings of sadness and assuming that sadness comes with aging.

There are several common causes and symptoms of senior depression, all of which can affect your loved one’s life and quality of their senior care. Familiarizing yourself with these can help to stop or prevent senior depression.

You can learn to be aware of and identify senior depression’s most common causes and symptoms, which is a great idea if you are the person in charge of your loved one’s senior care. Doing so can help you stop and treat depression, or completely prevent it from occurring.

The Causes

Senior depression can be treated or prevented by learning about and identifying the causes below:

  • Fears: Developing anxiety because of health issues or financial burdens; a fear of dying or death.
  • Loss of Sense of Purpose: Not being able to engage in previously enjoyed activities due to physical limitations; experiencing a loss of identity or purpose due to retirement
  • Loneliness and Isolation: Living alone can induce a decreasing social circle; the inability to drive or having decreased mobility.
  • Health Issues: This is caused by severe and chronic pain; a cognitive decline; or illnesses and disabilities.
  • Recent Bereavements: This can be due to a recent loss of a spouse or partner, friends, family members, or pets.
  • Medical Conditions: Specific medical conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, thyroid disorders, Cancer and Lupus can actually trigger depression.

The Symptoms

Learn to catch depression and improve the quality of their senior care by being aware of these common symptoms:

  • Sadness and despair; feelings of hopelessness; loss of self-worth
  • Loss of interest and activities; lack of motivation and energy
  • Weight loss and/or loss of appetite
  • Aches and pains that are unexplained
  • The use of alcohol or other drugs (or increased use)
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Poor sleeping habits
  • Neglecting personal care
  • Slower speech and/or movements