When people age, things in life become quite different. Children move away, spouses pass on, and the effects of aging begin to appear. This is a ripe environment for depression to occur in. Your aging family members may try to keep the fact that they are becoming depressed to themselves as much as possible so not to be a burden on you. Because of this, you need to keep an eye out if you think your elderly loved one is becoming depressed. Here are some things you can do.
Know the Symptoms
There are some symptoms of depression in elderly people that you need to look for. This includes a lack of motivation, major weight loss, having no interest in their activities, and not paying to their personal appearances. Depressed individuals can also have problems with memory loss and seeming quite sad and despondent.
Be a Good Listener
Another thing you can do is be an active listener. One of the best things you can do is listen when your loved ones need to talk about how they are feeling. Let them know that you will always be there for them. Many times seniors will improve in terms of mental health once they know they have someone to talk to.
Being depressed can also be very stressful. Minimizing the amount of unnecessary stress can help a person with depression manage their symptoms. Help your loved one develop a routine to follow each day. This will allow him or her to have a clear timeline for each day so that there are no surprises. Help them set up a meal plan, home-care routines, physical-activity times, and a medication schedule.
Spend Time Together
Many times, depressed seniors are lonely. As people leave their lives, things can become quite sad and cause them to be depressed. Try to spend as much quality time together with your loved one as possible. Get together to work on a craft, go to the library, have a meal together, or sit for a long chat over a glass of iced tea. The more you are able to spend time with your loved one, the less likely it is that their loneliness will lead to clinical depression.
Helping a senior loved on with depression can be a very tiring job. You should try to rally your family members to help as well. If the depression symptoms are very deep, be sure to seek the help of a professional, such as one from First In Care Home Health Agency Inc, in the event that more in-depth treatment is necessary.