It is easy to say, “I’m tired. I’m stressed. I’m depressed.”
With all the demands in our workplace, school, or home, each day could indeed be very exhausting. In fact, depression seems to be more prevalent nowadays than decades back. More people are seeking the help of experts on the field to get away from stress and feel lighter or get happiness.
Depression is prevalent in all age groups. Among all ages, people with the age of sixty-five and above are recorded to have the most number of depressed people in a year. Moreover, depression has been listed as the number one cause of suicides among this age group.
What causes depression among the elderly?
At the onset, seniors may appear to be the happiest people on earth. They already have ultimate freedom from bossy supervisors, upcoming deadlines, and exorbitant quotas. They have all the time in the world to do whatever they would love to do.
So, why do they get depressed?
Numerous factors increase the risk of depression, as Trinity Care Adult Day Care Center in Morrow, Georgia, has observed, among those factors are:
- Being single, unmarried, divorced or widowed,
- Lack of social network,
- Previous history of depression,
- Isolation of living alone,
- Substance abuse,
- Upsetting life events, and
- Physical or health conditions.
What can we do?
As a loved one or just anybody who cares, we should take steps that will lead the elderly away from depression.
- Never dismiss the symptoms.
It may be difficult to differentiate a symptom of depression from the mere longing of privacy. So if you are not informed of the possible symptoms of depression yet, here are some early signs that your elderly loved one may be feeling depressed:
- Loss of interest in hobbies or any fun activities
- Persistent body aches and pains
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Feeling of helplessness or hopelessness
- Consistently feeling empty
- Difficulty in concentration
Once you observe these in your senior loved ones, it would be best to take them to an expert and seek medical help.
- Give some time of speaking with them.
Most seniors, who feel the symptoms of the condition or get diagnosed withsuch condition, would be in denial of such fact. For them, depression is a weakness which should be kept. To make them understand that the opposite is true, you should talk to them about their condition. Whom else could they get the best advice but from their family? A conversation with them will only take a few minutes or an hour, it will not take you a whole day.
- Acknowledge that depression is an illness.
Some family members would not want to recognize the fact that depression is a clinical condition which needs medication or treatment. Unconsciously, these people are just metaphorically burying their senior loved ones into the graves slowly. Instead of getting humiliated with the fact that you or your loved one is suffering from such condition, you should do something like visiting a doctor to ease the symptoms.
- Be involved in their medication process.
Surely, it would be delighting to have someone by your side while undergoing several sessions with a psychologist. Despite the present rule on geriatric psychology not to divulge patient information without the patient’s consent, you could show your parent how much you want to take part in his/her medication. These psychologists even recommend this practice because they have observed fast response on medication of patients who are accompanied by their loved ones.
Depression can cause harmful effects on an individual and to the people that surround the person. To prevent this risk from happening, you should follow Trinity Care’s pieces of advice on the matter.
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