Depression in Elderly and Treatment Options
Are you less interested in some activities you used to enjoy? Are you struggling with feelings of hopelessness and helplessness? Do you find it hard to get through a day? If yes, you are not alone. Depression can happen to anyone as they age, regardless of their achievement and background.
Fortunately, depression is not an inevitable part of the human aging process. With the recommended support, self-help strategies, and treatment, you can cope well with life’s difficulties, boost how you feel, and ensure that your senior years are happy, healthy, and highly fulfilling life.
Signs of depression of depression in elderly people
United Energy Workers Healthcare asserts that recognizing depression in seniors begins with understanding the signs and symptoms of this condition. Some of the red flags associated with depression include;
- Aggravated and unexplained pains and aches
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Feelings of despair and sadness
- Loss of interest in your hobbies and socializing
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Feeling worthless
- Slowed speech and movement
- Sleep difficulties ( difficulty in staying asleep, daytime sleepiness, oversleeping, or difficulty in falling asleep)
- Memory problems
- Increased consumption of alcohol or other drugs
- Suicidal thoughts
- Neglecting personal care
Common causes of depression in seniors
As you age, you are likely to face significant life changes that might heighten the risk for depression. These life changes include;
- Health issues such as chronic pain, damage to your body due to surgery, disability or any other form of illness.
- Isolation and loneliness can cause depression. A dwindling social circle caused by relocation or death, less mobility due to loss of driving privileges or sickness are some of the leading causes of depression in seniors.
- Loss of identity due to physical limitation or retirement and feelings of purposelessness can also cause depression in older people.
- Fear of dying, health problems, anxiety over financial-related issues can also cause depression.
Helping older people to overcome depression
Treat sleeping difficulties
Most old people who live alone are more susceptible to sleeping difficulties that can aggravate depression. To keep severe depressive episodes at bay, make sure that the senior keeps a recommended and regular sleep pattern and doesn’t take daytime naps. If the individual suffers from a sleep disorder, keep them engaged in some activities or offer them the recommended medication.
Keep them physically active
Studies reveal that physical activity is a lifesaver for aging adults. Stair climbing, walking, and other gentle exercises can help the elderly stay in a great mental, physical, and emotional shape.
Promote a sense of purpose in them
In most cases, the struggle with depression is tougher for people who have already lost their sense of purpose. Help them keep loneliness and brooding away by encouraging them to take up a hobby such as gardening or knitting.
Helping an older adult to overcome depression is much easier if you know the specific foods to serve them. For instance, fiber-rich foods like vegetables and fruits are essential for seniors. Also, lean protein and whole grains are recommended.
If you are depressed or taking care of a depressed elderly person, the tips discussed here will help you manage the condition and eventually overcome it.