People experience a lot of changes as they get older, but depression should not be one of them. According to the CDC, about seven million adults over 65 in the US experience depression, but the condition is not a normal part of aging. It’s important for everyone to know the signs of depression so they can help the seniors in their life.
Depression is a mental health condition that can affect people of any age, but for seniors who feel less connected with their family and community, it can be more prevalent. It’s important to look for signs of depression in the seniors in your life. These include:
- Regular crying
- A persistent sad, empty, or anxious mood
- Feeling hopeless, guilty, worthless, helpless
- Being more irritable and restless
- Losing interest in activities that were once enjoyable
- Low energy
- Slower movements or speech
- Having a hard time making decisions or concentrating
- Sleep problems
- Changes in eating patterns
- Increased headaches and other unexplained aches and pains
- Dangerous thinking about suicide or even suicide attempts
The first step is getting help for the senior, including immediate crisis counseling for suicidal thoughts or attempts and appointments with the doctor for other symptoms. The senior’s doctor can help rule out other causes like illness or medication effects and recommend treatment options like counseling or medications for depression.
You can be a source of support for the senior in your life by:
- Spending more time with them. Make regular “dates” with them to go out for walks in the park or participate in fun activities. Involve the kids by creating fun family activities with the seniors as a central focus.
- Widening their circle of support. Find more activities for them that involve interactions with other people, like social programs for seniors and clubs for activities that interest them.
- Being a partner in positive activities. Help them cook healthy meals, clean the house, do laundry, and other basic chores that help them stay healthy.
- Helping them get professional treatment. Help them set appointments and offer to drive them to be sure they keep those appointments.
A healthy senior living lifestyle is an important part of helping seniors stay positive, and at Ashbridge Manor Senior Living, we pride ourselves on creating a lifestyle of wellness, fun daily activities, and a welcoming, friendly community. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact our professional staff members and we can help make it easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special! Ashbridge Manor is a safe, COVID-free senior living community.