Depression in aging adults is prevalent. It often goes unnoticed. Sometimes it is due to elder abuse or neglect, wherein the caretaker is not paying attention to the signs and symptoms of depression. Other times, depression can creep up slowly. It is not always apparent unless you’re looking for signs.
Here are some signs of depression in seniors:
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- Self-isolation, including not answering phone calls and not attending social events
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Sleeping too much
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- A significant change in weight
- Feelings of hopelessness or sadness
- Feelings of not being needed or loved
If you are a senior and experiencing some of these feelings, ask for help. Talk with a trusted friend or family member about getting professional help. If you feel neglected, or suspect that you are experiencing elder abuse, speak to a trusted friend or family member immediately.
6 Tips for Working through Life Changes in Healthy Ways
In many cases, depression cannot be avoided. It takes the help of medical experts to guide you through the feelings of sadness. Seniors experience changes that lead to depression, including retirement, losing a loved one, illnesses, the side effects of medication, or uncertainty about the future.
You can be proactive in some cases by staying busy and finding purpose in your day-to-day life. Here are some tips:
- Exercise Daily: Walk, go for a bike ride, practice yoga, or go for a swim.
- Get Outside: Take in some sunshine and fresh air to brighten up your day.
- Attend Classes: Look into your local senior center and commit to regular classes. When you meet once per week, it can help you make meaningful connections.
- Put Regular Social Engagements on the Calendar: Make sure you are seeing other people; even a trip to the grocery store counts. Join a book club, walking group, or sewing club.
- Write in a Journal: Express your thoughts in a journal where your feelings aren’t judged. Perhaps you’ll feel brave enough to share some of your fears or worries with a friend. You just might find that you are not alone.
- Serve Someone Each Day: Make someone else’s day by sending a hand-written card, baking a homemade treat, or some other kindness. Even smiling at a passing stranger in the park could make their day!
You will probably discover that scheduling a small thing in your calendar that involves social interaction or brightening someone’s day will lift you up and spread cheer to others as well.
Stay informed with Senior Safe and Sound. If your elderly loved one is acting out of the ordinary, talk to someone who can help. For additional information and support, contact us by email at info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858-480-7551.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.