senior depression

Is Someone You Love at Risk for Senior Depression?

Life is full of ups and downs. Each one impacts our mental wellbeing – for better or worse. When we are mentally healthy, life’s challenges may get us down for a period of time, but they are balanced out by positive experiences. When the difficulties of life become overwhelming, however, depression can develop – something that’s particularly concerning and common for older adults. So how can you determine if someone you love may be experiencing senior depression – and, what can you do to help?

Know the Risk Factors for Depression

The first step is understanding the risk factors for depression in seniors, which include:

    • Serious medical conditions, such as cancer or heart disease
    • Isolation and loneliness
    • Sleep deficiency
    • Stress
    • A sedentary lifestyle
    • Genetics
    • Alcoholism or other addictions
    • Limitations in the ability to function and perform activities of daily living
    • And more

Know the Signs of Depression

Senior depression often displays a bit differently than depression in younger adults. Watch for signs such as:

  • A disinterest in previously-enjoyed activities
  • Self-isolation from family and friends
  • Lack of attention to personal hygiene
  • A change in the upkeep of the home (i.e., someone who kept the kitchen spotless previously is now letting dishes pile up in the sink)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lethargy
  • Complaints about aches and pains

What to Do if You Suspect Senior Depression

Getting medical attention for senior depression is crucial. It is a treatable condition, and the sooner treatment is started, the better. The doctor may verify clinical depression by utilizing the Geriatric Depression Scale, which includes 30 questions such as:

  • Are you basically satisfied with your life?
  • Have you dropped many of your activities/interests?
  • Do you feel that your life is empty?
  • Do you often get bored?
  • Are you hopeful about the future?
  • Are you bothered by thoughts that you just cannot get out of your head?
  • Are you in good spirits most of the time?
  • Do you often feel restless and fidgety?
  • And more

If senior depression is diagnosed, the doctor may prescribe medications, therapy, or a combination of both. It will then be important to ensure the senior follows through with the doctor’s recommendations.

At Senior HomeCare of Tucson, our caregiving team is on hand to help seniors battling depression in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Serving as a friendly companion for enhanced socialization
  • Engaging together in enjoyable activities and exercise
  • Transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments
  • Picking up prescriptions
  • Providing medication reminders
  • And much more

Contact Senior HomeCare of Tucson, the leading provider of in-home care in Tucson, AZ and the surrounding areas , at 520-355-4787 for a free in-home consultation and help a senior you love get back to enjoying life to the fullest!

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