Senior Depression: Home Care Assistance Coronado CA
8 August 2023,

The real number of seniors who have depression is hard to gauge. Many seniors never seek help for their depression because they believe that depression is just part of getting older. They think it’s normal to “get the blues”. But seniors do have a higher risk of developing depression than other groups. Studies show that seniors are more likely to develop depression if they have at least one chronic health problem. There are many seniors that have multiple chronic health problems before they even develop depression.

It’s important for the family members, home care assistance providers, and friends of seniors to pay attention to any symptoms of depression that they see. Home care assistance providers are in a great position to notice changes in seniors’ moods or attitudes because they see those seniors daily.

Persistent Sadness and Emotional Changes

Everyone feels sad sometimes. Seniors who have a persistent feeling of sadness or emptiness that lasts for a long time may be depressed and withdraw from social activities also may be depressed. Look for changes in behavior like quitting an exercise class, no longer wanting to knit when they used to love to knit, or other changes that seem out of character.

Sleep Disturbances

It can be tough to know if a senior’s sleep disturbances are caused by a change in their physical health or mental health. Many seniors suffer from insomnia and sleep disorders. Sometimes medication can cause sleep disturbances. Lifestyle habits like staying up late or napping too much during the day can cause them too. Not being able to sleep or sleeping too much both can be symptoms of depression in seniors.

Appetite Changes and Weight Fluctuations

Seniors may also gain or lose weight if they are depressed. Changes in appetite where they stop eating or eat too much can be indicators of depression too. If you notice any major change in the way that your senior parent is eating you should talk to them about seeing a doctor and getting screened for depression.

Physical Ailments and Unexplained Pains

The mind and body are connected. Poor mental health may manifest as pain or fatigue in the body. If your senior parent is suddenly clumsy and bumping into things that can be caused by mental upset. Seniors may also start getting nausea, headaches, digestive issues, joint pain, or unexplained aches and pains. It’s a good idea to see a doctor to rule out a physical cause for those aches and pains. If no physical cause is found then the cause could be depression.

Thoughts of Death or Suicidal Ideation

It can be disturbing and frightening to hear a senior parent talk about death. If your senior parent begins talking about death or saying things like no one cares about them or they’d be better off dead family caregivers should take that seriously. It’s a sign that your senior parent needs mental health treatment for depression.

For more information about how caregivers at La Jolla Nurses Homecare can help your aging parents stay in their own homes, call 858-454-9339. We are a home care agency providing quality and affordable Home Care Assistance in Coronado, CA, and the surrounding communities.

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