Occasionally feeling sad, hopeless, or apathetic is normal for anybody at any age. But if these feelings linger or gradually intensify, depression could set in, which can impact all aspects of daily life. For seniors, what’s also referred to as geriatric depression can contribute to cognitive decline and other serious issues that can affect health and wellbeing. Below, you’ll find five reasons depression could affect your senior loved one.
1. Excessive or Chronic Stress
Stress affects all parts of the body, including the brain. It can also contribute to depression if it’s fairly consistent or constant. Help your loved one handle stress more productively by taking the time to find out what’s causing him or her to worry. Common concerns among older adults that could be stressful include:
• Financial worries
• Family drama/dynamics
• Health-related issues
• Changes of lifestyle
Work with your loved one to find reasonable solutions for issues that are causing him or her to be overly stressed. For instance, you might suggest consulting with a financial advisor if post-retirement finances are a concern.
2. Increased Instances of Personal Loss
One of the common aspects of aging is facing loss on an increasingly regular basis. While grief is a normal part of life, some seniors have a difficult time making adjustments after losing spouses, close friends, or family members. If your loved one is experiencing this type of loss, offer support and keep an eye on his or her mental status to see if he or she is having difficulty handling depression.
3. Lack of Sufficient Social Interaction
Over time, seniors may not be as socially active as they once were, which may contribute to depression. Help your loved one ward off depression by encouraging efforts to remain social. Possibilities include exploring online options appropriate for seniors and joining groups specific to certain interests (e.g., cooking, reading, arts and crafts, water-based exercises, etc.) with other like-minded seniors. It can also be helpful to make more of an effort to arrange social engagements in a way that accounts for any physical limitations your loved one might have.
A home caregiver can offer your loved one much-needed companionship and encouragement. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving 24-hour care. University Park, TX, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
4. Reduced Independence
Seniors may become chronically or seriously depressed if they feel like they’re losing their independence. This can happen if there’s an increasing need for assistance or discussions about nursing homes or assisted living care. One way to address this issue is to find ways to help your loved one stay as independent as possible. This is a goal that may be accomplished by:
• Considering in-home care
• Using local senior transportation services
• Making appropriate home modifications
In University Park, 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.
5. Underlying Health Issues
Diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease are some of the serious underlying health issues that can contribute to depression in seniors. Such conditions also have the potential to worsen existing issues with depression. With situations like these, your loved one may address his or her depression if he or she is able to better handle an underlying health issue. Also, be mindful of changes in mood that could be related to medication being taken to treat such conditions.
If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of in-home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (214) 363-3400 today.