As your loved ones grow older, the risk of depression becomes greater. There is an unfortunate lack of therapists dedicated solely to senior care, which can be problematic. In addition, seniors also avoid seeking care for depression as they feel it can be a burden on the family. This is why it is so crucial that you pay attention to symptoms of depression so that you can tackle the problem head on.
Understand the Signs
While you are not required to be an expert on depression in seniors, it is important that you educate yourself on the subject. There are some key signs that you should look out for in order to ensure your loved one is cared for, including the following:
- Extreme sadness or despondence
- No longer interested in their regular activities
- No motivation
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Problems with memory
- Not caring for themselves
- Worthlessness feelings
Support Them As Much As Possible
One of the very best things you can do is help your loved one seek help and support them through their healing. Encourage them to go to treatment and to continue going on a regular basis. This can include helping them remember to take medications, help with making appointments, and even driving them to the therapist.
Also, you should aim to become a very good listener. Talk to your loved one and let him or her know that you are there to listen to whatever they have to say. Let them know they are not a burden on you, which can be a major part of the depression cycle in seniors.
A depressed patient can often be very stressful. Try to help minimize the stress in his or her life. Stress can significantly exacerbate depression symptoms. Offer to help develop daily routines in order to maintain a healthy balance of activity throughout the day. This can be as easy as helping them plan their meals, manage a medication schedule, housework, and physical activity.
Spend Quality Time
Above all, one of the best ways to help your depressed loved one is quality time. As people age and their loved ones move away or pass on, they can begin feeling very lonely, which contributes heavily to depression. Make a goal to spend a certain amount of quality time each week with them to help reduce depression. Go for a walk, take them out to lunch, go shopping, or start a hobby together.
Taking the time to help an elderly loved one who is depressed can be a major job, so do not hesitate to ask other family members for help. Be sure to also ask professionals like Queen City Home Care for help.