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Dealing with depression in senior citizens

Dealing with depression in senior citizens

Are your elderly losing interest in activities, which they enjoyed earlier? Do they struggle with feeling of helplessness and find it difficult to get through the day? Many senior citizens across the globe develop depressive tendencies. Depression impacts their energy levels, sleep, appetite and interest in hobbies and relationships. The concern is identifying the symptoms of depression in elderly, because mostly it is considered as a natural part of ageing.

Causes of Depression

Your older adults are vulnerable due to losses, health conditions and fears that can lead to depression. The common causes of depression in elderly include

  • Health Problems: A few health concerns like disability, chronic pains, cognitive decline or surgery can trigger depression tendencies. There are also some medical problems that can cause depression. These include stroke, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Thyroid disorders and heart disease.
  • Loneliness: Factors such as decreased mobility, dwindling social circle and living alone can lead to feeling of isolation causing depression.
  • Anxiety: In some cases, anxiety starts harming your elderly in different ways. The fear of death or illness can trigger fear in them and if it gets prolonged, then it can lead to depression.
  • Reduced Sense of Purpose: Retirement can lead to loss of identity, self-confidence, status and increase the risk of depression. Besides, financial constraints and physical limitations can also impact the sense of purpose.
  • Bereavements: The recent loss of spouse or close friend or family members are also some of the common causes of depression in older adults.

Signs & Symptoms of Depression

Some of the red flags of depression in elderly include

  • Sadness
  • Loss of weight or appetite
  • Unexplained or aggravated pains
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Slow movement or speech
  • Memory problems
  • Neglecting personal care

 Ways to ward off depression in elderly

If you notice any of the above symptoms, then you should consult a specialist and seek guidance. However, you can take some measures and prevent depressive tendencies in your elderly. Here are some useful and easy ways of keeping your elderly engaged and happy post-retirement.

  • Adopt New Joys of Living: The human brain is capable of learning and adapting itself at any age. So, it is a good idea to involve your seniors in learning new skills that will engage them and help them in staying social. By taking up some hobby classes, your elderly will also stay physically active and feel connected. You can look for some neighbourhood classes for your elderly and help them stay energetic.
  • Adopt a Pet: Loneliness is one of the main reasons behind depression in elderly. If you and your other siblings are in another city, you can gift a pet to your older adults. A pet can give them company and they will stay fit by taking the pet for a stroll every day. You can also help them connect with neighbouring pet communities and help them meet and interact with people.
  • Adopt Healthy Living: If your elderly is healthy and active, the chances of depression will reduce significantly. You should ensure that your loved one gets healthy home cooked food and light snacks every few hours. Besides, they should take up some form of physical activity and enjoy optimum sleep at the same time every day. You can opt for personal care services for them, someone who can cook fresh food and take them out for walks and make them spend some time in sunlight.
  • Seek Professional Help: Depression is curable and treatable. If you can provide your elderly with timely help, it can make a lot of difference. You can take them for supportive counselling and therapy sessions. When you take them for these sessions, the cause and right course of treatment gets decided and the recovery process becomes faster.

If you are looking for professional counselling sessions and senior citizen care, then reach out to the Samvedna Care team. We offer different type of counselling sessions depending upon the concern area. Our team is proficient in providing retirement planning, family counselling, age-related disorders and caregiver counselling. You can book a session and discuss the concerns with our specialist and keep depression and loneliness tendency at bay. Know more about Samvedna Centre in Delhi, our areas of expertise and provide best in class senior care services to your loving adults.

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