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Senior Care Issues: Signs Of Depression In The Elderly

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Depression can occur at every age, even if a person has never struggled with symptoms associated with it before.  Elderly depression, in particular, can be difficult to trace because many of the signs are chalked up to old age.  Luckily, becoming informed on these senior care issues can save a loved one from suffering unnecessarily from the struggle of depression.

Learn the Basics

Certain elements of depression are very similar no matter how old you are.  Basic signs include:

  • Sadness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Difficult sleeping

If any one of these signs is recognized, depression is very commonly the cause, and immediate counsel should be sought after.  Whether you are a teen or reaching elderly status, these symptoms are serious and can result in death in the most extreme cases. 

Loss of Interest

A benefit of being older when depression strikes is the ability to notice a change.  For example, if you or someone in your life suddenly loses interest in the things that once made them happy and excited, the change will be more obvious as they have perhaps been participating in this hobby or act for many years at this point.  Any sudden change of concern in these areas is a strong indication that something deeper could be amiss. 

Lack of Sadness

Depression in older adults can be confusing for many reasons because it can strike out of nowhere and create irrational thoughts.  In fact, many seniors do not even notice a feeling of sadness.  Instead, they focus on an anxiety that they are maybe a burden to their friends and family.  They usually possess a lack of energy to do things that they once did for themselves on a daily basis.

Neglecting Personal Care

Older sufferers of depression can also be recognized by a lack of personal hygiene.  This is usually the result of a plethora of things including having little to no energy to carry out simple acts, such a bathing and dressing properly.  Many times, when this occurs during an older stage of life, it will be written off as a sign of just getting old; however, it may be a serious issue.  Other signs of neglect include:

  • Weight loss
  • Unkempt appearance
  • Messy home or living conditions

Physical Signs and Symptoms

Physical aches and pains alone are common amongst older people, but an excess or sudden onset could mean a person is suffering from something other than the pain of living a long and active life.  If the discomfort is too much and physical therapy or other pain treatment doesn't help, there is no reason why the presence of depression should be ruled out, as it is a common symptom, especially in the elderly.  

The most important thing to remember is that depression rears its ugly head in many different ways depending on all of the different factors.  Old age is one of the reasons why elderly depression can go unnoticed and untreated, but it's important to remember that depression can strike at any age. The elderly in your life have cared for you throughout the years, and now it is time to do the same for them. If necessary, talk with a senior care facility like ComForcare Home Care - Macedonia, OH