Is your senior loved one depressed? Do you know how to spot the signs of depression in seniors? May is Mental Health Awareness Month and now is the perfect time to learn more about depression in seniors and how to spot the signs. Depression is something that more than half of all seniors will deal with at some point. Many seniors never seek treatment for depression because they believe that it’s just part of getting older to be sad. But depression can have very real physical and mental health consequences for seniors. Some of the signs that your senior loved one may be depressed are:
Losing Interest In Activities And Hobbies
Losing interest in an activity or hobby by itself isn’t necessarily a symptom of depression. Sometimes seniors just want to try something new. But if your senior loved one doesn’t want to participate in any activities or try any hobbies at all that could be a sign of depression. Companion care at home can be a good option if you’re worried about your senior loved one. A caregiver will help your senior loved one try new activities and stay connected to the world by sitting with them, reading to them, and providing general companionship that can help them not become isolated.
Sleeping Too Much Or Not Enough
Seniors often struggle to get enough sleep, so if your senior loved one sleeps in a couple of days that’s not a cause for concern. However, if your senior loved one doesn’t want to get out of bed until afternoon or at all day after day that’s a problem. Similarly it’s a problem if your senior loved one is avoiding going to bed because they are sad or anxious. Companion care at home can be a huge comfort for seniors at night. Sometimes just knowing that someone else is there and they aren’t alone can make a big difference in a senior’s mental health. This is especially the case for seniors who have recently lose a partner or spouse and aren’t used to being alone at night.
Eating Too Much Or Not Enough
Seniors often don’t eat enough, so seniors should be eating a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables and lean protein each day. But if your senior loved one suddenly has no interest in eating at all that could be a symptom of depression. The opposite behavior, eating too much and eating a lot of sweets, snacks, or junk food can also be a red flag that could be a sign of depression.
Everyone feels sad or down sometimes. But when your senior loved one has a persistent feeling of hopelessness that won’t go away that is a warning sign for depression. If your senior loved one starts to talk about life being pointless or how they don’t want to live make a mental health appointment for them immediately. They may benefit from counseling or medication that help manage the symptoms of depression.