With more than 6.5 million seniors estimated to have depression, mental health is something that all aging individuals—and their loved ones—should stay aware of. Unfortunately, this condition often goes unnoticed as people tend to confuse symptoms with other health issues or just assume they’re part of the natural aging process. If you’re concerned about depression and its impact on a loved one’s long-term elder care, here are a few important points to consider.
What Are the Signs of Depression Among Seniors?
While it’s normal for a person to feel blue every so often, those with depression may be persistently sad without any specific reasons behind the emotion. Others may express thoughts of hopelessness or worthlessness. And in some cases, a depressed individual may exhibit heightened anxiety, irritability, or restlessness.
Isolation is a common effect of depression among seniors, especially those who may be limited by poor mobility. Typically, people will lose interest in activities that they once enjoyed and be less likely to socialize with friends or family.
Trouble With Sleep
In some cases, depression will make it difficult for a person to sleep, causing them to experience insomnia or wake up extremely early in the morning. Others may experience the reverse effect and sleep for extended periods.
What Causes Depression In Seniors?
People of any age can have a higher risk of depression for many different reasons, such as having a family history of the condition, being overweight, or engaging in substance abuse.
However, depression is also known to co-occur with many chronic health issues that are common later in life, such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, dementia, and cancer. Some seniors may also develop what’s known as vascular depression—a form of the condition that’s linked to restricted blood flow.
How Can You Manage Depression?
Many cases of this mental health condition are treated using antidepressants—medications that help adjust brain chemistry. Long-term elder care may also be necessary to manage other underlying issues that may co-occur with depression, such as heart disease or dementia.
Individuals with depression are encouraged to work with a qualified therapist or psychiatrist. Through ongoing discussions, these professionals help clients understand the mechanisms behind the condition. They also introduce clients to strategies they can adopt to improve negative thought patterns and behaviors.
Offering compassionate long-term elder care services in Rochester, NY, GrandeVille Senior Living is a leading resource for older individuals affected by chronic health issues—including depression. Staffed by qualified nursing professionals, this enhanced assisted living facility provides round-the-clock support for all aspects of depression care, such as antidepressant medication management. To learn more about their amenities, visit this senior living community online or call (585) 621-6160.