Prevent Depression in Elderly Adults
Depression in aging adults may be something you think only happens to others, but are you familiar enough with the symptoms to notice it in your own elderly parent? October is National Depression and Education Month, where organizations across the country work hard to shine the spotlight on recognizing the signs and what to do about this serious mental health issue.
Studies show that aging adults have a high risk of developing depression, so take the time to educate yourself, family members, friends and elderly care providers about what your aging loved one may be going through.
Learn the Causes of Depression in Seniors.
While the medical community is unsure about the origins of depression, they do know about certain factors that make people a higher risk for it than others. Often, a significant event can trigger a depressive episode, such as the death of a spouse, developing a serious disease, or experiencing trauma. Other times, depression is brought on by many smaller events that trigger chronic stress. These events can include financial worries, frustration at changing health status, fear of the future, and worry about long-term care.
Depression can also be genetic, so if there is a family history of depression and anxiety, seniors may be at a higher risk of experiencing it. If your aging loved one has gone through some of the events mentioned, they are likely candidates for developing depression and you need to be vigilant about looking for symptoms. Anyone else who cares for the elderly adult—family members, friends and elderly care providers—should also report any symptoms they notice to you.
Learn the Symptoms of Depression in Seniors.
The symptoms of depression can vary from person to person, especially in aging adults. Also, many of the symptoms may mimic other age-related conditions, so it can be a little tricky for you to identify depression. However, if you, family members, or elderly care providers suspect your elderly loved one is dealing with depression, from mild to severe, arrange for them to see their doctor.
Some of the most common symptoms of depression in aging adults are:
· Lack of energy and stamina.
· Poor sleep habits.
· Weight loss or weight gain.
· Mood swings.
· Overwhelming sadness.
· Drinking too much.
· Feelings of hopelessness, guilt or anxiety.
· Thoughts of suicide.
It’s important for you and others who care for your aging relative to be on the lookout for any symptoms of depression, so they can get help from qualified medical professionals. Depression doesn’t go away on its own, so it’s important that their recovery efforts are led by doctors and therapists. Treatment for depression includes adopting healthy lifestyle habits, antidepressants, and psychotherapy to change outlook and behaviors. Seniors also need a strong support group of friends, family members, and elderly care providers to overcome their depression.
With National Depression and Education Month, there’s no better time to review the symptoms of depression, recognize the risk factors, and take steps to prevent or treat depression in elderly loved ones.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elderly care in Berea, OH, please talk to the caring staff at Avalon Home Health Care today.
Call us at (440) 863 -3609.