Signs of Depression in Seniors

So today’s topic, what we’re going to talk about is Signs of Depression in Seniors. Obviously depression is one of the biggest problems facing our seniors. You heard that from other podcasts and other blog posts that we’ve done and we wanted to dive into a little bit more about the signs of depression and some of the causes and also, some of the different treatments that can help. 

So to start off, I just want to talk a little bit about what depression is. Depression is actually defined as a major mental disorder that directly affects a person move in a negative way. There’s a lot of different signs and symptoms of depression. It’s a little bit different in every different scenario. Every situation, every client, every patient has their own individual signs, symptoms and also treatments what works for them.  So jumping into what some of the symptoms are.  

One of the symptoms would be sadness. If you typically have one of your loved ones that’s typically a very jovial person, a very outgoing social person and you’ve noted that they have a lot of sadness in their daily routine and they have a lack of interest in doing some of the social activities that they used to, those can be definite signs of depression. 

Another one is no appetite. Their appetite, their diet has changed. You can usually notice these trends, especially if you’ve been around them a lot in the past. Anxiety is another thing. Avoiding social interaction like we had discussed and they just typically don’t have any interest in social interaction anymore. They don’t get any joy out of interacting with others.  

Insomnia, just an overall lack of sleep. They’re looking a little bit rough in the morning, a little bit worse for wear. Like they didn’t get a great sleep in.  

Lack of confidence – they’ve just sort of lost that confidence that they used to have and unfortunately they’re struggling a little bit to get that back.  

And another would be feeling guilty or unworthy. And these are some of the signs that you’re gonna notice them if they’re typically, if it’s unusual for their character. 

And one of the more major signs would be any suicidal thoughts or tendencies, maybe somebody that you know really well, one of your family members or a loved one brings up something even in a joking manner about suicide. You should definitely take that very seriously and investigate in that a little bit further. 

So now we’ll jump into maybe what some of the causes are of depression in seniors. So one of the main causes can be obviously Health issues. So we’re talking about things like disease, disability, chronic pain. These can all contribute to depression, making it worse or instigating it altogether.  

Medications – there can also be side effects of certain medications that can cause depression, fears, isolation. And loneliness can lead to depression and just not having a general sense of purpose, obviously, once you get a little bit older not as many people have to rely on you as far as financially you’re not working anymore, you’re retired. So you just generally have less people relying on you and some of the other reasons. 

Some of the other causes could be bereavements. So things like a death of a family member, obviously there’s grief involved, some people that is kind of a catalyst for depression and it’s really tough to get out of it even as you start working your way through the grief. 

So those are some of the causes. And I also wanted to know that seniors are actually at a higher risk of depression and even more commonly, so it is with seniors that have underlying health illnesses. Things like cancer and heart disease, illnesses like that can really be contributed and factors as well. And as per the CDC which is the Centers for Disease Control, they estimate that one to 5% of seniors have depression. So that’s not a huge number but when you get to seniors that do have those underlying health issues, it actually the number jumps up to 13.5% of seniors are depressed. And that’s obviously an estimated number. But you can see that it really jumps up with seniors that do need home care services. And that’s usually because of limited mobility, disease, just any underlying health conditions – all of that can contribute to the depression. 

Now there’s a few different options for treatment. We’re not gonna get into thorough detail of this, but the first would be Self-help. So with self-help, it’s just things you do on your own, you’re able to do at home. It’s little things like exercise – you want to be remaining active. Your diet – You want to maintain that balanced, healthy diet. There’s also support groups that you can join with others with depression and also medical professionals that will help out in those groups. You should also keep doing any activities you enjoy even if you’re struggling to be excited about them. Sometimes that can help snap a person out of depression. It’ll bring back those memories and trigger those memories and it will really improve the mood going.  

And the last for self-help would be just making sure you get enough sleep. Obviously, with individuals that have that insomnia and things like that, it’s a little bit more of a concern but overall you want to be getting your minimal amount of sleep per night. If you are having sleep issues insomnia, then you’d want to see a medical professional as well that can help you all with that.  

And some of the alternatives to self-help are things like therapy. You can actually go in and talk to somebody. Any psychological therapist, those typically come at a fairly high price range. One of the other options would be taking any depressants, which obviously your doctor would have to prescribe. So in summary, those are just an overview of some of the signs of depression in seniors. Some of the causes, some of the symptoms, how many seniors typically struggle with depression. And then also some of the treatments.  

Obviously, with any of these topics we can go into much further detail, but for the purpose of this podcast, we just want to kind of give a general overview of everything. So I really want to thank you for stopping by and I really hope that offers some insight into signs of depression for seniors. I really look forward to seeing you again next time. Thanks a lot. Bye. Bye. 

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