Seniors are at an increased risk of depression. The stresses of an aging body, the loss of a spouse or other family member, and the burden of managing difficult illnesses are just a few of the reasons seniors tend to develop depression more frequently than younger folks. There are various ways to combat depression, including stable, supportive senior housing, routine activities and socialization, and a regular schedule that includes exercise and doctor visits. First, you must recognize the signs of depression in a senior; a few of the most common are discussed here.
How to Tell if a Senior Is Depressed
1. Loss of Interest
A depressed senior will frequently demonstrate a lack of interest in life in general and the activities and routines they previously enjoyed. Take note of how often they engage in their usual activities, such as hobbies, exercising, or going out with friends. If they live in a senior housing community, ask them how regularly they attend group events and activities and socialize with others. Should you see a marked decrease in how interested and active they are in their life, they may have depression.
2. Sleep Changes
Adults over the age of 65 should get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night. Sleep is crucial to restoring the mind and body and maintaining one's mood. Often, one of the most noticeable signs of depression is an alteration in a healthy sleep routine. A senior could either sleep too much or too little, and even in their waking hours, they may feel exhausted and depleted. Lack of sleep can lead to a foggy brain, including memory issues, easy confusion, and a short temper.
3. Feelings or Expressions of Guilt or Hopelessness
Depressed seniors can wrestle with intense feelings that sap them of energy and hope. They might experience a sense of guilt or grief about outliving a spouse or dear friend. With health issues or a perceived loss of independence, such as moving to a senior housing facility, an older individual may feel hopeless or helpless. Bear in mind they might not express these feelings in words, so it's up to you, as their trusted loved one, to check in with them about how and what they're feeling.
If you notice any of these signs in your senior loved one, schedule a doctor's visit for them. When a senior in your life requires more routine care, trust Hillview Health Care Campus. Serving the La Crosse County, WI, area, they are a skilled nursing facility, senior apartment complex, and Assisted Living. Call (608) 789-4800 with questions, or visit their website to schedule a tour.