Depression is the most common mental health problem among seniors, and anywhere from one to five percent of aging adults experience this disorder. Depression is more common in seniors who have illnesses or limited function, and it’s present in about half of older adults who have two or more chronic health conditions. Less than 40 percent of seniors consider depression a real health problem, and more than half think it’s a normal part of aging. The truth is depression doesn’t have to accompany the aging process, and it can be treated. Without treatment, seniors with depression are at higher risk for suicide and reduced quality of life.
Common Symptoms of Depression
Many people don’t understand how depression can affect almost every component of an individual’s health. In addition to having a major impact on mental wellbeing, depression also leads to a greater risk of several physical problems, such as sudden changes in weight or the failure to maintain proper personal hygiene.
Depression can have many different causes. Your older loved one may be depressed about his or her life circumstances, or there may be an underlying physical issue. Let your parent’s physician discover what’s contributing to the problem, since the correct course of treatment may vary depending on what’s causing your loved one’s depression.
Some of the symptoms of depression in seniors may be the result of health conditions or medications, and it’s important to listen carefully to your loved one’s concerns or complaints. Don’t ignore the following symptoms of depression in your aging loved one:
Changes in appetite
Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
Frequent feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
Sleeping too much or insomnia
Chronic pain that has no known cause and doesn’t go away with treatment
Mental and emotional challenges are common for many aging adults, but seniors don’t have to handle them alone. For families living in Flower Mound, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
Treatment Options for Seniors
Depression is a very treatable health condition. In fact, more than 80 percent of people with depression can be treated successfully with therapy, medication, or both. If your loved one has symptoms of depression, a doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:
Antidepressants to enhance mood, sleep, and appetite
Changes in diet and exercise
Homecare services agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
How Family Caregivers Can Help
You may not be able to make your loved one’s depression go away, but there are several steps you can take to help him or her address the symptoms and enjoy a higher quality of life. Some simple things you can do to boost your loved one’s emotional and mental wellbeing include:
Helping your loved one get more sunlight and fresh air
Encouraging your parent to exercise on a regular basis
Assisting your loved one with personal hygiene tasks
Offering constant love and support
Mental and emotional issues can have a significant impact on seniors’ overall health and wellbeing, so they shouldn’t be taken lightly. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality homecare. Flower Mound families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate professional home care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (972) 468-6010.