Everyone goes through times when they just want to be by themselves for a bit with their thoughts, to work through issues in their lives without distractions, or simply to experience some downtime. For seniors, however, being isolated for an extended period of time may be indicative of a more serious condition: depression.
At Advanced Home Health Care, our Burlington caregivers have shared the journey through depression with many older adults, so we recognize the warning signs of senior depression and can help you navigate them. The most important first step is to contact the older adult’s physician right away if you believe he or she is struggling with depression. Depression is treatable, and the sooner, the better.
Watch for these signs of senior depression in your loved ones:
- Loss: A variety of forms of loss can trigger depression or other medical concerns: losing weight, losing appetite, a loss of self-worth, a loss of interest in activities or pastimes that were formerly enjoyed, or less time spent with family or friends.
- Slowing Down: Notice if the older adult’s movements or speaking have slowed down, if it takes the person longer than usual to talk about or recall memories, or if enthusiasm or energy is reduced.
- Sleeping Changes: Depression can have significant effects on sleep patterns, including trouble with falling or remaining asleep, awakening, or remaining alert and awake throughout the day.
- Forgetfulness: Watch for changes in how the older person takes care of herself; for example, if she was always careful about maintaining good personal hygiene and taking care with her appearance, but abruptly starts to disregard personal care, or any other vital changes like forgetting to take medications, to eat a balanced diet, etc.
Certain other medical conditions may also make depression worse. Be particularly mindful if the older person has been impacted by any of the following:
- Heart disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
- Thyroid conditions
If you suspect signs of senior depression in a loved one, it’s vitally important to take action and not to disregard it as just something the senior will get over. Depression is a chronic medical condition that calls for treatment in order to recover.
And remember, you are never alone! The Burlington area caregivers of Advanced Home Health Care are here to help aging adults through senior depression. We’re experienced in providing caring, compassionate Burlington elder care and elder care throughout the surrounding communities. We offer friendly companionship to help motivate participation in exercise programs and social activities, to prepare appetizing, nutritious meals, provide transportation to doctors’ appointments and to run errands, and much more.