- You find medications that have not been taken as prescribed
- Yours family member is unkempt and not dressed appropriately
- The home is in disarray and not kept as it used to be.
- Food is past the best before date and rotting in the fridge.
- Frequent or increased falls leading to minor or substantial injury.
- A decline in health has left your family member in a weakened state and unable to care for themselves
- Your loved one is being discharged from hospital and needs to monitored and cared for until admission to a facility.
- You are spending most of your time worried about and caring for your loved one and it is affecting your work, family and your health.
- You live in another city or province and providing care and support for you family member is difficult a best.
- Your family member is opposed to moving out of their home into a residence and you want to support them to stay there.
As we age we face many losses including retirement, loss of loved ones, health issues and increased isolation. These losses are a normal part of aging but can lead to depression. Depression leads to decreased enjoyment of life, but can also affect your appetite, sleep, energy level, and physical health. Depression is not a part of aging and can be remedied.
Depression is a problem for many older adults
Have you lost interest in former activities that you enjoyed? Do you feel hopeless?
You are not alone.
Depression is a common problem in older adults.
The symptoms of depression affect every aspect of your life. Including appetite, energy, sleep, relationships, hobbies and work.
Depression is often overlooked in seniors because they either fail to recognize the symptoms of depression or don’t take steps to get the help they need.
Causes of depression in older adults
Many life changes related to aging can lead to depression:
Medical conditions can psychologically or directly cause depression in the elderly.
Parkinson’s disease, Stroke
Diabetes Heart Disease
Cancer Thyroid Disorders,
Lupus Multiple Sclerosis
Arthritis Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia
Seniors often have more multiple chronic illnesses.
Prescription Medications can result in depression of the elderly. It is a common side effect, particularly when multiple medications are taken.
Drugs to treat blood pressure, heart disease, ulcer medications, steroids, sleeping pills, painkillers, cholesterol drugs and tranquilizers all can have a depressive effect.
Alcohol can be a coping mechanism to deal with physical and emotional pain. Alcohol may interact with other medications and impair brain function, sometimes worsening the symptoms of depression.
Is it Grief or Depression?
Grief is a normal reaction to loss. Everyone is different and there is no time limit on grieving. During this process there are still times that we feel some joy and happiness.
Depression however leaves one with a constant sense of emptiness, despair and hopelessness.
Signs of Depression in the Elderly
Despite denial seniors may still have depression. Signs of depression may include:
It is important to get treatment for depression!!!
Getting over depression
It’s never too late to develop a new skill or hobby. Keep the brain fit by learning new things and finding new enjoyment.
Getting Help for a Loved one or Friend
The nature of depression interferes with a senior person seeking help. You can help by offering emotional support. Listen with compassion and patience and offer hope. You can also ensure that your loved one seeks and gets appropriate treatment. Attend medical appointments and offer hope and support.
Yvonne having obtained training in Brain Rehab, Geriatric Care, Palliative Care and Dementia Care and Senior Care. Keeping up to date with current best practices is critical to providing optimal care for our clients.