Recognizing the Symptoms of Depression in Your Elderly Loved One

August 27th, 2014 by John Wilson

Learn how to identify depression in seniors.

It is important to watch for depression for those living in senior assisted living facilities.

Depression can be a serious problem for anyone. As people get older and experience the typical ailments associated with aging, including heart problems, arthritis and diabetes, depression is even more likely to set in. Unfortunately, unless the elderly live in a senior assisted living facility, the symptoms can often go unnoticed, even by close family members. If you have an aging relative, paying attention to their habits and attitudes can help you pinpoint this problem and get the necessary help.

Similar to Other Ailments

One of the biggest problems with identifying bouts of depression in the elderly is the similarity between the symptoms of depression and other ailments common among the aging. For instance, feelings of sadness, appetite changes and loss of energy can all be symptoms of common problems, such as dementia. Therefore, it can be difficult to determine if your loved one is suffering from depression or if it is something else. For this reason, it is important to take your relative to a doctor to determine the underlying cause of the symptoms so they can be properly treated.

Common Symptoms

If you suspect a loved one in a senior living facility may be suffering from depression, you should look for the following signs. While seniors can exhibit many of the same symptoms as younger people, they are more likely to experience:

However, due to their feelings of guilt or the desire to live independently, elderly individuals are less likely to report these symptoms to family, friends or even the staff at a senior assisted living facility. Therefore, it is up to you to keep your eye out for these signs and provide assistance when needed.

Get an Evaluation

The best way to determine if your loved one is going through depression or another common ailment is to have them evaluated by a doctor. Even if you can check off every symptom of depression, self-diagnosis will not help your loved one. A doctor will be able to determine what the cause of the depression is and how to best resolve it.  Without a proper evaluation, your loved one may go untreated too long, leading to other health problems.

As people get older, it can be normal to feel lonely and unhappy with life. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to determine if your loved one is suffering from depression or if another problem is at fault. Keeping an eye out for the warning signs of depression and helping your relative get help from a senior assisted living facility and an experienced doctor will put them back on the right track to enjoying their senior years.

If you are concerned your aging loved one needs help from a senior assisted living center due to depression, contact us. Our Oklahoma facility is equipped to handle this and other senior health issues.

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