Do you know how to tell if the senior you care for is depressed?
Although depression is a risk at any age, seniors in particular are more vulnerable. Major depression is found in about 13% of seniors who require home health care and in about 11% of older hospital patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Seniors are at a greater risk because they often live with chronic health conditions, and depression is more common among those with chronic illnesses or those with limited mobility and function. In Florida specifically, seniors are not always seeking help for depression as often as they should, according to findings from a new report.
“Depression is a true and treatable medical condition, not a normal part of aging,” according to the CDC. Unfortunately, doctors and patients both may assume that depression is a normal reaction to life’s changes with age, so they may not offer or seek help when it’s needed.
Now that you know a little more about the risk for depression among seniors, you can keep watch for signs of depression, which include:
- feelings of hopelessness
- fatigue and lowered energy
- eating too much or too little
- sleeping too much or too little
- persistent aches or pains that don’t get better, even with treatment
- loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
- thoughts of suicide or suicidal attempts
Everyone may feel blue from time to time, but depression is a more constant feeling that affects the person’s quality of life.
Experiencing depression can cause a vicious negative cycle with one’s health. Those who are depressed may think that their health problems are worse than they are, and that negative mindset can lead to more health problems, according to various studies. Additionally, depression symptoms sometimes mask another physical problem.
If you think a senior who you care for is depressed, encourage them to seek help, and offer to go with them. “Depression is a real illness. It is not a sign of a person’s weakness or a character flaw. You can’t ‘snap out of’ clinical depression. Most people who experience depression need treatment to get better,” according to the National Institute on Aging. Most older adults improve with antidepressant drugs, psychotherapy, or a combination of both, the CDC reports. If you believe the senior you care for is in immediate danger due to depression, call 911, visit your local emergency department, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Call Secure Aging to Help Your Older Loved One Lead a Better Life
At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. We can help your older loved one not fall prey to the financial scams and help them obtain better care. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at www.secureaging.com.