Aging adults can sometimes find themselves suffering from depression.
Depression can be triggered by many things, such as a large change in life, a health issue, grief, or loneliness. The symptoms of depression can affect every aspect of life including energy levels, appetite, sleep, and interest in work, hobbies, or relationships. Below are several symptoms that you can be aware of in order to identify depression in yourself or a loved one. Let us help you spot depression in seniors.
Symptoms of depression in Seniors and others:
● Sadness or feelings of despair.
● Unexplained or aggravated aches and pains.
● Loss of interest in socializing or hobbies.
● Weight loss or loss of appetite.
● Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness.
● Lack of motivation and energy.
● Sleep disturbances (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, oversleeping, or daytime sleepiness).
● Loss of self-worth (worries about being a burden, feelings of worthlessness, or self-loathing).
● Slowed movement or speech.
● Increased use of alcohol or other drugs.
● Fixation on death; thoughts of suicide.
● Memory problems.
● Neglecting personal care (skipping meals, forgetting meds, neglecting personal hygiene).
It is important to remember that depression in seniors and others is common and can happen to anyone.
It is nothing to be ashamed of and there are many treatment options for depression from self-care to medical assistance.
Self-Care for Depression in seniors and others:
● Reach Out
Make an effort to contact friends and family. Feeling a valuable connection with people is important in fighting depression. While seeing people in person is ideal, video chatting, phone calls, or even email can be an encouraging way to stay connected.
● Adopt Healthy Habits
Increase the amount of water, fruits, and vegetables you intake to give your body the nutrients it needs. Vitamin D plays an important role in mood; try to get 15 minutes of sunlight a day. Good sleep is also vital to mental health. Create an environment where you can get quality sleep.
● Get Moving
Exercise is one of the most effective tools to use against depression. There are plenty of exercises that can be done indoors or seated if mobility is limited.
● Make New Friends
While getting out into the world may not be possible during COVID-19, the digital world offers a unique opportunity to connect with people. By finding groups for common interests or even support groups for people struggling with similar things, you can create new and meaningful relationships.
● Take Care of a Pet
As well as keeping you company, a pet can give you a renewed sense of purpose. Getting outside to walk or play with your pet is a great way to get some fresh air, exercise, and is an opportunity to meet people.
Laughter is proven to boost your mood and can be very cathartic. Watch a funny television show, read a funny book, or call up an old friend to tell jokes and stories.
There is hope for those struggling with depression.
When dealing with depression, it can be difficult or overwhelming to take action, but by taking small steps, it is possible to find joy in life again.
If you or a loved one are suffering from depression and are not experiencing any relief, you may need to see a medical professional.
Community Care of the Northeast assists seniors who are depressed.
CCNE homecare allows elderly loved ones to age safely in their own homes while providing assistance when needed. If you are a caregiver and need a break during the most stressful times, call us for a consultation. We can set up a schedule to go over your needs and discuss how and when we can help. Contact us today for support at 215-335-4416.