Depression is common among the elderly population, and untreated depression can have long-lasting effects on a senior’s physical and emotional health. Seniors with untreated depression are at a greater risk for heart attacks, tend to have slower recoveries from illnesses, and are more likely to experience a decrease in cognitive abilities. Fortunately, these consequences can be prevented by knowing how to identify depression in a senior loved one so early treatment can be sought.
Understand Potential Triggers
There are certain times in life when seniors are more vulnerable to depression. Often, depression begins after a person experiences a stressful event such as moving to a new home or an injury that reduces independence. The loss of a loved one or pet, retirement, or a new medical diagnosis can also trigger depression. While it may not be possible to prevent these events from occurring, these are all times when families should be alert for signs of depression in their older loved ones.
Preventing and managing depression is just one of the many ways aging adults can maintain their health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Sarasota, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Recognize Underlying Physical Contributors to Depression
Although depression is frequently viewed as an emotional disorder, there are often physical reasons for a senior’s feelings of sadness. For example, seniors who experience chronic pain or have issues with their body image following a surgery are at risk for depression. New medications could also be an underlying reason for a sudden change in a senior’s mood.
Depression is common in seniors living with dementia. If your senior loved one needs professional dementia care, Sarasota caregivers are available around the clock to provide the high-quality care he or she needs. Using the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, dementia caregivers can help your loved one stay mentally engaged and delay the progression of the disease.
Provide Ongoing Support
If depression is suspected, it’s important to discuss your concerns with your loved one along with his or her physician so a diagnosis and treatment plan can be implemented. In addition, seniors with depression need continuous support from their loved ones. Taking a walk, talking on the phone, or enjoying a meal together can all lift a senior’s spirits. Seniors who enjoy regular contact with their loved ones and caregivers will be better able to manage their emotions while having the best prospects for recovery.
Work with a Home Care Provider
If you’re unable to provide your loved one with the support he or she needs, consider in-home care. Highly trained, professional and compassionate caregivers can help your loved one with daily activities and personal care, and they can also offer a high level of companionship and build a genuine relationship that can enhance mood, self-esteem, and even feelings of independence.
When caring for a loved one, it’s not uncommon for family caregivers to become depressed as well, which can lead to burnout. However, there is help available. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To learn more about our premier in-home care, give us a call today at (941) 702-5525.