Depression is a mood disorder that’s fairly common in seniors. Even so, the National Institute on Aging emphasizes the fact it’s not a normal part of aging, nor is it a character flaw or something people just snap out of if it’s a lingering problem. On a positive note, older adults often respond well to the same treatments that benefit younger adults with similar issues. Here’s a closer look at five reasons depression tends to be common in seniors.
1. Losing a Loved One
It’s understandable and normal for seniors to be sad or depressed when loved ones pass away. However, what’s not healthy is depression that gets increasingly worse following this type of loss. Keep a careful eye on your senior loved one if he or she has experienced a loss, and provide as much support as possible. Seniors having a difficult time managing loss may benefit from grief counseling or therapy.
Compassionate home caregivers can provide empathetic companionship for aging adults who have lost loved ones. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving 24-hour care. Philadelphia, PA, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
2. Living with a Chronic Health Condition
According to the National Institutes of Health, most seniors have at least one chronic health issue, and many have two or more. Conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and recurring digestive disorders can worsen existing depression or contribute to it. Some seniors notice a boost in mood by better addressing their chronic health issues. In addition, treating underlying depression may help older adults be more mindful of their health.
In Philadelphia, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
3. Having Dementia
Depression is common in older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. It sometimes develops as cognitive impairment worsens and it becomes more difficult to articulate feelings. Seniors may also develop depression during the early stages of dementia while they’re still aware of what’s happening. Seniors with depression related to dementia may benefit from:
• Medication and counseling
• Activities that foster happiness and comfort
• Reassurance from family members
• A familiar routine that includes appropriate opportunities to assist with tasks and feel productive
4. Being Put in the Middle of Family Drama
In some families, older adults become trusted sources of advice, which is perfectly fine and respectable. But seniors may become depressed or overly stressed if they’re regularly thrown into the middle of family drama or forced to take sides. With situations like these, seniors may benefit from therapy or counseling so they can learn how to take themselves out of stressful family situations that don’t directly involve them. Family counseling may be beneficial as well.
5. Feeling Like Independence Is Being Lost
Independence is something that’s often taken for granted until it’s lost. Seniors may become depressed if it becomes increasingly difficult to remain independent, which can happen if there are mobility limitations or other issues affecting daily quality of life. With situations like these, possible solutions include:
• Arranging for in-home care as needed
• Making appropriate home modifications
• Using local transportation or medication and meal delivery services
• Keeping your loved one fully involved in care-related decisions
If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of elder care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner in caregiving for your loved one. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (215) 645-4663 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.