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Is Your Senior Loved One Just Having a Bad Day or is it Something More Serious?

Elder Care in Needham, MA  – Watch for these Signs of Depression and Consult Your Loved One’s Doctor if Treatment is Needed

Depression in senior citizens is much more prevalent than some might think. Aging adults can get depressed for numerous reasons including health problems, medical diagnosis, or declining mobility. For family members or caregivers, there are some important signs to look out for if the senior continually feels “down in the dumps.” Some symptoms to be on the lookout for include:

  • Changes in mood
  • Feeling grumpy
  • Feeling confused
  • Irritability
  • Having problems with memory

How to Lessen Symptoms of Depression

Some of these symptoms of depression can mimic dementia or Alzheimer’s disease or sometimes caregivers or family members chalk it up to just part of the aging process. To ensure proper treatment, it is essential to get a correct diagnosis by a physician. There are some common causes of what leads a senior to feeling depressed and identifying it and treating it early on is beneficial for the senior’s health and wellness. Read through the following list with your loved one and decide if one of these might be the cause of their depression.

  • Medications – changes in current medications or adding new medications can make a person feel depressed. Many medications have depression as a side effect so check with the senior’s doctor.
  • Genetics may play a role in depression. Depression and other mental health issues can run in a person’s family and increase the senior’s risk of developing it.
  • Changes in a person’s body and their appearance due to a major surgery or just the normal process of aging can cause discouragement and frustration.
  • Hormones – When the hormonal balance in the body changes, either from things such as menopause or thyroid issues, it can trigger feelings of depression.
  • Bereavement – The senior may have experienced the loss of a beloved pet, a close family member or a friend and can find themselves suffering from major depression. The senior may begin to focus more on death and develop a fear of dying or they may have thoughts of suicide.
  • A person can also have anxiety and fear about a number of life issues including financial struggles, stress or any trauma.
  • Health problems can lead to feelings of sadness and hopelessness especially if the senior is dealing with mobility issues, chronic pain or physical limitations.

Even after finding out a cause, going through treatment for depression will require some work and dedication to getting better. Your loved one will need added support to heal and find meaning in their life. During this time, home care for the elderly is a good option for the help your parent needs, including cooking, driving, making appointments and light housekeeping. A trained caregiver can be a good friend for your loved one.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073