Depression is common among the elderly population, and untreated depression can have long-lasting effects upon a senior’s physical and emotional health. Seniors with untreated depression are at a greater risk for heart attacks, tend to have slower recoveries from illnesses and are more likely to experience a decline in their cognitive abilities. Fortunately, these consequences can be prevented by knowing how to identify depression in a senior adult so that early treatment can be sought.
Understand Potential Triggers
At Home Care Assistance of Caledon, ON, we work with many seniors and have found that there are certain times in a senior’s life when they are more vulnerable to depression. Often, depression begins after a person experiences a stressful event such as moving to a new home or an injury that reduces their independence. The loss of a loved one or pet, retirement and a new medical diagnosis can also trigger depression. While it may not be possible to prevent these events from occurring, these are all times when families should be alert for signs of depression in older adults.
Recognize Underlying Physical Contributors to Depression
Although depression is frequently viewed as an emotional disorder, there are often physical reasons for a senior’s feelings of sadness. For example, seniors who experience chronic pain or who struggle with their body image following a surgery are at risk for depression. New medications could also be an underlying reason for a sudden change in a senior’s mood.
Provide On-Going Support
If depression is suspected, it is important for a person to discuss their concerns with their senior loved one along with their physician so that a diagnosis and treatment plan can be implemented. In addition to this, seniors with depression will need continuous support from their loved ones. Taking a walk, talking on the phone or enjoying a meal together can all help to lift a senior’s spirits. Seniors who enjoy regular contact with their loved ones and caregivers will be better able to cope with their emotions while having the best prospects for recovery.
Work with a Home Care Provider
If you are unable to provide your loved one with the support they need, consider in-home care. Highly trained, professional and compassionate Caledon caregivers can not only help your loved one with daily activities and personal care, they can offer a high level of companionship and build a genuine relationship that can enhance mood, self-esteem and even feelings of independence.
To learn more about home care for seniors, reach out to the Caledon live-in care and hourly care experts at Home Care Assistance. Our Care Managers are available 24/7 to answer questions and can also help you schedule a complimentary, in-home consultation to further discuss care services. Call 905-951-8885 today and provide your loved one with the care and companionship they need and deserve.