This month is Depression Awareness Month. Awareness months are created to help people find ways to discuss and connect over health topics that are often difficult to talk about. The goal is to increase understanding for both those with depression and those who love someone with depression, as well as to educate everyone on the importance of helping people find healing solutions. Having a supportive person such as yourself or their companion care at home provider, can help a loved one find relief from their depression.
Depression in seniors can look different than depression in younger individuals and many seniors still believe inaccurate thoughts about depression that may cause them to hide how deeply it is affecting their daily life. Many seniors believe depression is something a person should just be able to get over or perhaps something they shouldn’t burden others with.
What does depression look like for seniors? While depression symptoms can take on many forms, some of the most common symptoms you or their companion care at home providers may notice if your loved one is depressed are discussed here.
A lack of a desire to participate in activities they once enjoyed. Your loved one may produce excuses that are related to health or conflicts, but if those excuses are consistent, it may be depression that is causing them to opt out instead of that “bad knee.”
Sleeping a lot … or not sleeping at all. Depression can interfere with sleep in both ways. Sometimes it causes a person to not be able to sleep due to intrusive thoughts that cannot be quieted at night. Other times, depressed individuals use sleep as their way to get away from the pain of being awake.
Fatigue that has no physical cause. Depression can cause physical reactions such as making a person feel like they are exhausted and that any effort is just too much to bear. Depression can also lead to physical pain that seems to have no cause or relief.
Feeling worthless, hopeless, or a nuisance to everyone. Being isolated can often cause an elderly person to become depressed, even if they have regular visits from family, friends, and companion care at home providers. They still may struggle to see what their worth or value is in the world anymore now that they don’t have a daily purpose such as work or family members to take care of.
Unexpected weight changes. Like sleep, depression can cause a person to swing to either side of the pendulum when it comes to eating. Some depressed individuals will stop eating since they no longer find joy or pleasure in it. They may have stomach issues that make eating unpleasant. Others may turn to food to find some pleasure and will overeat.
As a caregiver, it’s okay to ask your loved one how they feel if you notice any of these symptoms. Encourage them to expand on their answer if they provide short answers or vague comments. Let them know that it’s okay not to be okay and talking about it will be the first step toward finding a better mental health place.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Companion Care at Home Services in Massapequa NY, please get in touch with the caring staff at Star Multi Care today. Call (631) 424-7827
Star Multi Care is a Trusted Home Care Agency serving Long Island and in NYC including Dix Hills, Floral Park, Great Neck, Huntington, Manhasset, Massapequa, Northport, Plainview, Rockville Center, Stonybrook, Suffolk County, Nassau County, and Queens County.
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