Depression in Aging Adults
Losing social connections is a regrettable part of the aging process, as certain challenges arise. Loved ones move away or spouses and friends pass away, and bodily limitations or chronic illnesses can compound on the alienation that comes from losing these connections.
Feelings of isolation and loneliness are unfortunately common in the elderly population, and depression can affect seniors just as any other person, with possible physical ramifications as well as causing emotional distress. Signs of depression can be the same across the board no matter the age, such as withdrawal from favorite activities and social situations, weight loss or weight gain, either sleeping too much or too little, and a depressed mood.
However, seniors are especially at risk because statistically, 80% of elderly persons have at least one chronic health condition, and half of the aging population have at least two or more. Seniors are also sometimes misdiagnosed, due to physicians attributing depression symptoms to the natural decline that comes with aging, and also because seniors are less likely to seek out medical attention for mental health issues than younger people are.
In-home care services can be very beneficial in many cases where companionship can help a senior feel less alone, and housekeeping or domestic services can be provided as well to those with physical limitations. Oftentimes, seniors may develop a friendly relationship or bond with their caregivers, and having someone to listen to and talk with can help alleviate the feelings of isolation that come with depression.
If you or someone you know may need help with depression, speak with your primary care physician as soon as possible. There are many medications that can help with depression symptoms, as well as a change in lifestyle. Your doctor may recommend a change in diet or a more regular exercise regimen. If you or someone you know are having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please call 911 immediately, go to the nearest emergency room, or call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) to talk to a trained counselor.
Are you or a loved one looking for in-home elderly and senior services? My Choice Home Care is a senior care service that serves clients in Macon County, Jackson County, and Haywood County in North Carolina. Counties served in Georgia are Rabun County, Towns County, and Habersham County. The counties served in Upstate South Carolina are Oconee County, Pickens County, and Anderson County. Call (828) 200-9000 to speak to someone today or contact us if you or a loved one would like to enjoy the benefits of living independently in your own home.