Older adults contribute to the family and society in various ways. They continue to play many essential roles, even post-retirement. From the caretaker of grandchildren at home to volunteers of the community, they assume many significant roles. However, seldom we realise that their life is changing. They are experiencing many social, physical and financial changes. The death of a loved one, retirement, medical problems or stressful life events can make them uneasy. However, sometimes due to these changes or a multitude of conditions at the same time, they can develop depressive tendencies.
Depression is different, it starts to interfere with their daily routine and normal functioning. It is not a normal part of ageing. In some cases, the depressive tendencies can be major like unable to work, sleep and eat or minor depressive tendencies. Irrespective of a major or minor depression, it is essential to diagnose it early and help your elderly. Depression has many symptoms and if you notice any of the below signs, then talk to your older adults. If it is not helping, then consult a geriatric psychiatrist. The mental health of your older adults is vital, and you need to recognize if they are facing any concerns. Some of the signs you need to watch out for in your ageing adult include.
Memory Issues: These often get confused as a normal part of ageing, and the mental illnesses go unrecognised. Memory problems can be a warning sign of different kinds of mental diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. So, if you notice them misplacing their belongings, repeatedly asking the same set of questions or forgetting the dates, then it can be an alarming sign of memory loss.
Changes in Personal Routine: If your older adult has any mental health issues, they can stop adhering to their routine. You may notice they start giving everyday bathing and brushing a miss. Alternatively, they start dressing differently and don’t pay attention to their looks. These changes can be a matter of concern and will need your consideration.
Avoid Socialising: Your once upon a time, social adult stops interacting and participating in family gatherings, and discussions should raise an alarm. If you notice that they avoid any social engagement, then it can be a symptom of a mental health issue. These signs of aloofness and indifference should get your attention.
Changes in Mood: Has your loving elderly started to get anxious or confused? Do you notice sudden and frequent mood changes? If these mood changes keep happening for more than a couple of weeks, then there can be something serious that is altering their personality at this age.
Sleep Problems: Sleeping too much or too little or any such sleeping disorder can also be indicative of depressive tendencies. Your older adults need to sleep for 6-8 hours a day and should sleep through the night. If they are waking up frequently or feeling anxious at night, then it can be due to some neurological or mental health problem.
Changes in Weight & Appetite: Sudden weight gain and loss in the elderly can also be a matter of concern. It can be due to loss of appetite, some medical condition or an eating disorder. Such signs of rapid weight gain or loss will need further investigation.
If you notice any of the above symptoms and need to consult a psychiatrist, then consult a doctor at Samvedna Care. You can book a consultation with the psychiatrist who specialises in mental health problems in old age. Such a specialist can diagnose the nature of mental illness and suggest the necessary pharmacological and therapeutic treatment. You can book a consultation online or call at the Samvedna Centre and help your older adult with happy and healthy golden years.