The Warning Signs of Depression in the Elderly

January 19th, 2016 by John Wilson

Learn to identify depression in the elderly.

Depression in the elderly can be a serious issue.

You may be reading this because you’ve noticed some recent changes in the behavior of your parent or an elderly loved one. If you’re wondering if they’re depressed, here are some factors to consider.

What Can Trigger Depression?

Contrary to what some may think, depression is not a normal part of growing older. However, older adults can show signs of depression for many reasons, such as losing:

These types of losses would affect anyone, no matter their stage in life. Unfortunately, all of these events do tend to happen during a person’s elder years. Some of these triggers may be temporary and will pass, such as grieving the loss of a lifelong friend. Losing one’s independence or mobility is different but can often be easily remedied with the help of a walker or by engaging in senior trips that are often offered by assisted living in Oklahoma City.

What to Look For

Though passing sadness is a normal part of life for anyone, including seniors, if you begin to notice the following changes in your loved one, depression may be the cause:

Again, it’s important to keep in mind many of these “symptoms” of depression in the elderly may be the normal response to life events, such as the loss of a friend or the recovery and rehabilitation period following surgery.

Your loved ones need your attention while living in assisted living.

When in assisted living, your loved ones need your attention.

How You Can Help

Talk to Them. If you don’t think your loved one’s change in behavior is directly related to their illness, you can find out what may be triggering the depression by simply talking with them. What is going on in your parent’s life? Perhaps you simply aren’t aware of recent losses or troubles.

When having conversations with a parent, look for clues that might account for their sudden change of heart. Did they stop going to bingo games? Find out why. Maybe they just need the confidence of using a walker to get them there. Ask about their friends. Find out what they did over the weekend, who they saw and where they went. Ask if they’re getting enough sleep (or too much) and what they think is the reason.

Talk to Their Physician. Depression in the elderly is more common in those who have other illnesses, such as cancer or heart disease, that limits their ability to function as before. Many older adults go untreated because their closest relative or doctor hasn’t recognized their changes. When depression is directly related to cancer, arthritis or another debilitating condition, their doctor may be able to prescribe medication that will help treat the depression.

If you feel your parent or loved one could benefit from an environment where they are not alone and can engage with other people, it may be time to look into assisted living in Oklahoma City.

Moving your senior to assisted living may help alleviate many of the problems that may be causing them to feel depressed. Loneliness, boredom and feelings of helplessness could all be helped by being surrounded with other seniors and with a compassionate staff. The Village at Oakwood is located in beautiful Oklahoma City. We can help you decide if assisted living may help your parent at this time.

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