The Difference Between Grieving and Depression

July 11th, 2017 by John Wilson

Loss and grief are a normal part of aging as friends and family members pass away from old age and/or a variety of age-related ailments. Even when living in the best assisted living facilities in OKC, your senior loved ones may experience periods of grief. However, it’s important to determine whether it is truly grief they are going through or if they are suffering from depression that will require additional medical treatment.


Because severe levels of grief and depression can actually have similar symptoms, sometimes it’s difficult to differentiate between the two until some time has passed. Grief will fade over time, leading to a decrease in symptoms as time passes. However, if your senior loved one is suffering from true depression, the symptoms may ebb and flow, but they will not show consistent improvement and will be just as strong several weeks or months from their onset. The longer symptoms persist, the more likely it is depression is the true cause of the feelings.

Grief and depression are different, according to senor care professionals.

Senior care means telling the difference between grief and depression.

Changes in Behavior

Minor changes can occur, whether a person is suffering from a period of grief or they are going through a deeper depression. It’s important to pay attention to how your loved one acts, even when they are living in senior living communities in Oklahoma City. When the elderly are suffering from depression, they will exhibit major behavioral changes, such as difficulty sleeping, a disinterest in activities they previously enjoyed and eating more or less than previously. In some cases, these issues can be caused by shorter periods of grief, but they will improve quickly, returning your loved one to their previous behaviors.

More Serious Symptoms

While any changes in behavior are concerning, the ones often associated with grief are far less serious than some of the differences that may occur as a result of depression. Seniors who are experiencing true deep depression may exhibit some signs that include:

Because some of these signs can also indicate other medical issues, it’s important to seek senior care services to evaluate your loved one. Medical professionals will be able to tell if these symptoms are caused by a depressive state or another serious medical issue.

The best assisted living facilities in OKC keep an eye on seniors so they can help them through difficult times. With all of the changes that occur in the later years, grief is a common feeling. However, sometimes this grief really masks depression, which requires the assistance of medical professionals to handle.

If you’re concerned about monitoring for grief and depression in your senior loved one, contact us. Village at Oakwood offers the senior care services your loved one needs to give you peace of mind.

Leave a Reply