Home Care in Old Greenwich, CT - Look for these Signs of Depression in Your Elderly Loved One
Providing care for a loved one is not an easy task. Not only must family caregivers care for their loved one's physical ailments, but they also must be aware of any mental changes. Depression is common among seniors, mainly due to increased isolation. Many elderly people, especially those with mobility issues, become less social and tend to be housebound. Depression can have serious consequences, so it’s important for caregivers to be aware of this condition. Is it sadness or depression? Read on to learn about the symptoms of depression based on four main categories.
It’s important to track changes in normal behavior. Any changes in patterns could point to depression. Look for sudden disinterest in once-loved hobbies and interests. If the your loved one wants to be left alone more often, is sleeping more or is neglecting daily activities or chores, these symptoms could spell depression. Loss of appetite is also a common sign, but it could be a symptom of other health conditions as well.
Caregivers should be aware of any changes in their loved one's appearance. If a their once perfectly-coiffed hair has suddenly turned into an uncombed mess, then something is definitely amiss. Look at the their clothing as well and note any changes. Does it look disheveled or dirty? When a person no longer cares about his or her appearance, depression is often to blame.
Some people are naturally reserved and better able than others to hide their feelings. But when a formerly outgoing and communicative senior suddenly goes quiet, it could be caused by depression. Other emotions to look for include impatience and anger. Those who are depressed may also feel hopeless and become overly critical of friends and family.
How is your loved one communicating? Is he or she suddenly behaving erratically, such as through gestures, facial expression or strange words? Is he or she using strong negative language or talking about self-destruction or suicide? When death becomes a common theme with your loved one, you need to seek help from a medical professional immediately.
What To Do Next
It’s important for your loved one to see a doctor right away to rule out any other health or mental conditions. There are medications that can help. There are all-natural remedies, such as exercise and increased exposure to sunlight, that can help ward off depression. Herbs are also all-natural and can help correct the chemicals in the brain.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Old Greenwich, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Stamford, CT at 203-661-6969.