Depression is a serious disease that is suffered by millions of people around the world. Depression is particularly dangerous for seniors because it may potentially worsen other medical conditions suffered by seniors. Also of some concern are seniors living alone who struggle with depression. They may have difficulty seeking treatment and may not have a good support system to help them cope.
Common Signs of Depression
• Change in Appearance
Individuals suffering with depression may experience drastic changes in their appearance. This may be due to poor hygiene, lack of sleep, or poor nutrition often associated with depression. There may also be sudden weight loss or weight gain.
• Antisocial Behavior/Withdrawal
If a senior is showing a lack of interest in activities with people they normally like spending time with or begins spending more and more time alone, it may be a sign of depression. Withdrawal is a common symptom of depression.
• Mood Swings
Sudden changes in mood and demeanor can be alarming and may indicate a serious problem. A senior who is usually happy and smiles a lot may begin to cry all the time and become irritable.
• Changes in Appetite and Sleep
Depression affects everyone differently. Some people with depression may feel like eating constantly while others hardly eat at all. The same applies to sleep. People dealing with depression may have a difficult time sleeping or sleep all the time.
Ways to Help
• Be supportive
One of the most important factors for effectively dealing with depression is a good support system. Dealing with depression is hard, but just having someone who will listen can be a huge comfort. It is important to provide support and be there for the senior dealing with depression. Even something as simple as driving him/her to doctor appointments or helping around the house can provide encouragement and relieve some of the burden of maintaining daily life while dealing with this debilitating illness.
Therapy has been proven to be very beneficial to depression sufferers. It is usually based on the specific needs of the individual. Therapy may focus on certain events that could have triggered depression, such as the death of a loved one or. It also helps the sufferer to learn ways to cope .
Antidepressants are often prescribed to deal with depression. Like therapy, medication use is also based on the needs of the sufferer. There are many different types of antidepressants. What works for one person may not work for another. Medications are often used in conjunction with therapy.
• Help to Set Goals
Setting treatment goals and other life goals will provide the senior with renewed purpose and aid recovery. It may be helpful for family and friends to set goals with the senior and find ways to help achieve those goals.
At Caring Senior Service, our expert staff is comprised of extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and trusted professionals who take pride in helping your loved one manage their daily activities. Contact us today to learn more!