Addressing Apathy & Depression in Aging Adults

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Senior Depression and Apathy Causes and Solutions in Philadelphia, PA

Many seniors enjoy lives full of freedom, fun, and unlimited leisure time during their post-retirement years. While this is something many aging adults get to experience, it’s also important to prepare for some of the biggest unforeseen changes older adults face: depression and apathy. Symptoms of depression and apathy are oftentimes overlooked, causing seniors to feel undervalued and confused by these newfound and unexpected feelings. By reading the information provided below, family members can begin to understand where these feelings come from and how to address them.

Physical Changes

Impaired vision, unsteady gait, and joint stiffness are just a few of the physical impairments many seniors must adjust to. In coming to terms with reduced or lost functions, aging adults often become depressed. However, caregivers can be available at any hour of the day or night to help older adults with the tasks of daily living without removing seniors’ autonomy. From mobility support to daily meal preparation, a caregiver could be just the thing to help your senior loved one maintain his or her quality of life despite minor or major physical health problems.

Mental Confusion

Dementia, forgetfulness, and loss of memory are commonplace among the elderly in varying degrees. This realization can bring on a sense of apathy. It’s important that family members practice patience and use encouraging words if they notice their loved one is beginning to show signs of cognitive decline. It’s also beneficial to practice stimulating brain games while engaging in regular conversation to promote cognitive vitality.

Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Philadelphia live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. 

Diminished Independence

With changes to physical and mental acuity come adjustments to personal freedom. Many seniors eventually relinquish the car keys, turn over the handling of their finances to relatives, and often share their homes with live-in caregivers who are able to provide 24/7 oversight and monitoring. Less freedom and privacy can contribute to feelings of sadness, anger, and frustration.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional home care service. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Treatment Options

While many people think depression is simply feeling sad most of the time, this is far from true. Depression is the most common mental health problem among seniors. Anywhere from one to five percent of seniors experience depression. Clinical depression is a very treatable health condition. In fact, more than 80 percent of people with depression can be treated successfully with therapy, medication, or both. Unfortunately, less than 40 percent of seniors consider depression a real health problem, and more than half think it’s a normal part of aging. 

The truth is depression doesn’t need to come with age, and it can be treated. Without treatment, seniors with depression are at higher risk for suicide and a reduced quality of life. If your loved one has symptoms of depression, a doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:

  • Antidepressants to boost mood, sleep, and appetite 
  • Psychotherapy, which can be an effective treatment and can be used with or without medication
  • Social activities, which have been found to alleviate depression
  • Changes in diet and exercise, which may include light aerobic and strength-training exercises 

How You Can Help

Caring family members and caregivers can make a huge difference in boosting seniors’ quality of life and overall wellbeing. Providing comfortable surroundings and a cheerful, positive outlook can help the elderly feel secure and safe.

Mental and emotional issues can have a significant impact on seniors’ overall health and wellbeing, so they shouldn’t be taken lightly. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elder care. Philadelphia families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at (215) 645-4663


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