Watching out for your senior loved one’s physical and mental health is a great responsibility. While their physical ability is relatively easy to judge simply by appearance, mental health conditions are harder to spot. While it is normal to feel sadness occasionally, long-lasting depression is not. It’s important to be able to recognize the signs of depression in seniors to help you know when it’s time for treatment for your loved one.
Your loved one can live an enriching lifestyle at Buckner Retirement Services. A wealth of activities, social gatherings, and opportunities to give back to the community allows us to keep our senior living residents engaged and fulfilled each day. The communities and clubs we offer allow us to counteract senior isolation and loneliness, which are two of the main drivers of depression. Get in touch with us today by calling 855.931.5688 to learn more.
Is it Common to Experience Depression in Senior Living?
Depression is a mood disorder that can have a profound effect on how a person feels, thinks, and conducts themselves in daily life. Someone who is depressed can have difficulty eating, sleeping, and connecting with other people. It is a common mental health condition among people of all ages, including senior adults in senior living communities. While the tendency to develop depression varies based on factors such as age, gender, and lifestyle, people who suffer from chronic illnesses or disabilities are more likely to experience depression.
Senior adults are at increased risk of developing depression due to physical changes, social isolation, loss of independence, and other life changes that occur as they grow older. Seniors may not recognize the signs of depression or may be hesitant to talk about their feelings with peers, family members, or doctors out of fear or embarrassment. As a result, many cases go undetected and untreated since people may not recognize the outward signs of depression in seniors. While depression in seniors is common, it’s not a normal part of aging and should be treated immediately.
Signs of Depression in Seniors
Depression in senior adults can present itself in a variety of ways, but some common signs and symptoms of depression in seniors to look out for can include:
- Changes in appetite or weight – A decrease or increase in appetite can be a sign of depression in seniors as they may feel less motivated to eat or may overeat due to emotional distress. Unexplained changes in weight can also indicate the presence of depression.
- Social withdrawal – When a senior adult begins to withdraw from activities and relationships that were once meaningful to them, it can be an indication that they are experiencing symptoms of depression.
- Feelings of emptiness, sadness, or hopelessness – Seniors who are struggling with depression often report feeling sad, hopeless, and helpless. They may lack motivation and enthusiasm for activities they used to enjoy and may feel overwhelmed by everyday tasks.
- Difficulty sleeping – Problems with insomnia or oversleeping can be associated with depression in seniors. They may be consumed with thoughts when trying to sleep, or they may want to sleep more to escape their troubles.
- Lethargy – Depression can lead to a lack of energy and fatigue, which makes it hard for seniors to accomplish everyday tasks such as cooking meals, cleaning up around the house, and socializing.
- Concentration problems – Memory problems, difficulty focusing on tasks, confusion, and forgetfulness are all issues that can accompany depression in seniors and should not be ignored or overlooked if observed.
These are just some of the signs that may indicate that a senior adult is suffering from depression. Any incidence of these symptoms should be taken seriously so that appropriate help can be provided if necessary.
How Is Depression in Seniors Treated?
There are several strategies for preventing and managing depression in seniors. These include:
- Increasing social interaction through activities such as joining clubs or volunteering
- Engaging in regular physical activity
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
- Managing stress through relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation
By using these strategies, seniors can better manage their mental health and reduce the risk of developing depression. However, it is also a good idea to seek professional help when needed so that a counselor or therapist can help the senior adult develop better coping techniques.
Live Life to the Fullest with Buckner Retirement Services
At Buckner Retirement Services, we are passionate about providing our residents only the best experience in their well-deserved retirement years. We offer luxury senior living communities dedicated to helping our residents lead happy, healthy senior lifestyles. Our various programs and amenities give our residents many ways to connect with others and stave off senior loneliness and isolation. Call us today at 855.931.5688 or contact us online to find out more about our living options and lifestyle amenities.