Depression is not a normal part of aging, and has been identified and a treatable medical condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Seniors aged 65 and older are at an increased risk for experiencing depression. If you’re concerned that your aging parent is exhibiting signs of depression, schedule an appointment to visit a health care provider. A senior with depression tends to experience feelings of sadness or anxiety that last for weeks at a time, along with the following:
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- Irritability and restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Thoughts of suicide and/or suicide attempts
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not get better, even with treatment
The symptoms of depression can be specific to an individual, and your senior parent may not exhibit all the signs of depression listed above. Notably, depression is different for older adults compared to individuals under age 65 and older, specifically because:
- Older adults are at increased risk.Eighty percent of older adults have at least one chronic health condition, and 50 percent have two or more. Depression is more common in people who also have other illnesses (such as heart disease or cancer) or whose function and mobility become limited.
- Older adults are often misdiagnosed and undertreated.Health care providers may mistake a senior’s symptoms of depression as a natural reaction to illness or to significant life events that occur with aging.
Significant causes and experiences can contribute to an aging parent’s depression, including:
- Health problems: Illness and disability, chronic or severe pain, cognitive decline, and damage to the body image due to surgery or disease.
- Loneliness and isolation: Living alone, a dwindling social circle due to deaths or relocation, and decreased mobility due to illness or loss of driving privileges.
- Reduced sense of purpose: Feelings of purposelessness or loss of identity due to retirement or physical limitations on activities.
- Fears: Fear of death or dying, and anxiety over financial problems or health issues.
- Recent bereavement: The death of friends, family members, and pets; the loss of a spouse or partner.
Understanding the causes and symptoms of depression will help alleviate the stresses and hardships that you and your aging loved one may encounter. If you feel that your senior parent may be suffering from depression, invite your loved one out to run errands, schedule family/social activities, prepare healthy meals, monitor medication intake, and watch for suicide warning signs. Consistent care and attention is necessary in order to properly help prevent and alleviate depression.
Although you would do anything to comfort your senior parent, you have a busy life, and may not be able to fully tend to your loved one in order to alleviate stresses and combat the disorder. The highly trained, skilled, and compassionate home health caregivers of SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona, Riverside, and Anaheim Hills can help your elderly loved one live a safe, fulfilling, and independent life. SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona, Riverside, and Anaheim Hills provides in-home, non-medical home care needs, from cooking healthy meals to providing friendly conversation and companionship. Your busy life may get in the way of caring for your loved one. But, with the help of Synergy HomeCare of Corona, Riverside, and Anaheim Hills in-home home health caregivers, you can rest assured that personal interaction and care will enhance the lifestyle, independence, and happiness of your senior parent.
If you recognize the causes and symptoms of depression in your elderly loved one, and if you are unable to dedicate your time to help manage or alleviate your loved one’s depression, contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona, Riverside, or Anaheim Hills to work with a home health caregiver and help give your loved one the care they deserve.
About SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills
SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills is the name you can trust in Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Yorba Linda, Tustin, Santa Ana, Orange and Placentia for personal home care. SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills is part of a national franchise of non-medical home care offices dedicated to providing exceptional and affordable service to anyone of any age. SYNERGY HomeCare caregivers are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, to those in need - including seniors, expectant moms, those suffering from sports injuries and debilitating illnesses, and more. SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona & Riverside can be found online at http://www.synergyhomecare.com/agencies/ca/anaheim-hills/ca25 . The location also hosts active social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Ken and Anna can be reached at 714- 706-1613 and [email protected] .