By Rhiannon Acree, Cambrian Homecare
Changes in life brought about by retirement, isolation, medical concerns, limited mobility, and many other issues can lead to elderly depression. In addition to affecting his or her mental state, elderly depression can also impact a senior’s sleep, energy level, ability to eat, and overall physical health. Elderly depression is a serious condition that must be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible so he or she can get back to enjoying life as soon as possible.
Reasons the Elderly Are Prone to Depression
Elderly depression is not uncommon, and the symptoms can go unnoticed for long periods of time. This is especially true when a senior’s family members live a long distance away and a Long Beach caregiver has not been hired to assist with daily needs. Common reasons for elderly depression include:
- Assuming they have a good reason to be depressed or that their depression is just part of aging
- Feeling like a burden
- Being physically incapable of functioning at the same level
- Feeling isolated from the world, including friends and family
- Being unable to do or attend the activities that used to make them happy
- Not wanting to ask for help, especially since they require so much assistance already
The many life changes faced by an elderly person can also place him or her at high risk for depression. A Long Beach caregiver can be helpful in watching for causes of elderly depression including illness and disability, chronic or severe pain, cognitive issues, loneliness, a dwindling social circle, anxiety over finance, and bereavement.
Some elderly depression can also result from side effects due to medication. These can include blood pressure medications, sleeping pills, beta-blockers, tranquilizers, calcium blockers, Parkinson’s medications, painkillers, and high cholesterol medications. A trained Long Beach caregiver can help monitor medication compliance to ensure depression isn’t triggered by the misuse of one of their medications.
Symptoms of Elderly Depression
Although the symptoms of elderly depression vary from person to person, it is important to recognize the signs of depression early so that treatment can be properly provided. Signs of elderly depression include:
- Loss of interest
- Social isolation
- Weight loss
- Sleep issues
- Increased use of medications or alcohol
- Suicidal thoughts
Ways to Combat Elderly Depression
One of the leading causes of elderly depression is social isolation. Your loved one wants to remain independent and live at home, but in doing so he or she can feel either physically or emotionally isolated. Hiring a Long Beach caregiver can help ensure your loved one receives the essential care he or she needs in addition to companionship. Caregivers can take your loved one to meet with friends and attend social events.
Caring from afar can be frustrating when you know your loved one needs help but you can’t be there to catch those tell-tale signs of elderly depression. A Long Beach caregiver can be your eyes and ears to recognize symptoms of depression early and ensure your loved one receives the treatment he or she needs. Caregivers can also make sure your loved one is eating right, maintaining hygiene, taking his or her medication, getting exercise, and participating in social activities.
Interview Long Beach caregivers today if you’re concerned about elderly depression affecting the health and wellness of your loved one. Sometimes an extra helping hand is all he or she needs to get back on track and escape the devastating effects of elderly depression. Start your search for a Long Beach caregiver by visiting www.CambrianHomecare.com or calling 877.422.2270.