All You Should Know about Depression in Older Adults

September 14, 2018 Tatiana Comments

Signs of Depression in Older AdultsDepression is quite predominant in senior living although it can occur to anyone. It is often associated with the various changes that occur as one gets older such as declining health, loss of a loved one, isolation or retirement. Age-related depression comes with several symptoms that are detrimental to the well being of the elderly. It has an adverse effect on their sleep, appetite, energy, relationships, and hobbies. Generally, it affects the quality seniors across the world as well as the residents of senior living San Antonio, TX. In most cases, depression may be overlooked because its signs and symptoms are almost similar to those of dementia. Nevertheless, depression can be dealt with if you notice the symptoms in time.

Signs and symptoms of depression the residents of senior living San Antonio, TX should be aware of

  • Appetite loss resulting in weight loss 
  • Sluggish speech and movement 
  • Despair and developing feelings of hopelessness
  • Diminished energy and motivation 
  • Lack of sleep 
  • Paying less attention to self-care such as neglecting personal hygiene, forgetting to take prescriptions and skipping meals. 
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or socializing
  • Self-loathing or feeling worthless 
  • Extreme usage of drugs and alcohol 
  • Memory loss 
  • Increased suicide thoughts or fixation on death 

Causes of depression in seniors

There are significant life changes that we often face as we age. Some of these changes can have a negative impact on our lives such as causing depression. They might be related to health, lifestyle or social interactions. Below are some of the factors that can result in depression as we grow older.

Bereavements

The loss of a friend, partner, spouse, family member or pet can have a devastating effect on one’s life and might likely to lead to depression. 

 Isolation

Isolation is linked to bereavement, relocation, and limited mobility. Living life on your own is not healthy. Social interactions help to relieve stress.

 Health problems

Your body could be damaged due to illness, surgery or disability. This can ruin your normal routines in life.  

Reduced sense of belonging or purpose

This can be as a result of limited mobility or retirement.

Life fears

Developing fear of the unknown may lead to depression. Fear of health complications, financial problems or death is not good for your mental well being.

Medical conditions that can cause elderly depression 

Numerous age-related conditions can trigger depression among the elderly. In reality, some illnesses can be life-threatening, disabling and painful thus can worsen or cause depression.  This could be in the form of a psychological reaction or a direct reaction to such medical conditions as:

  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Heart disease
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis 
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disorders

Difference between dementia and depression

Dementia and depression are very common in senior living and might be mistaken for each other. However, they are quite different in the way they manifest in old age although they share several symptoms such as memory loss, low motivation, and slow movement or speech. To begin with, while a mental decline in depression is rapid it occurs relatively slow in dementia. Seniors with depression experience difficulty concentrating but those with dementia only experience the difficulty for a short while. Another difference is that senior people with depression notice their memory problems, which is the opposite for those with dementia. Lastly, older adults with depression have a slow but normal motor and language skills while the writing, motor and speaking skills for those with dementia are impaired.

 Now that you know the symptoms and causes of depression, you should strive to avoid, and overcome it. Similarly, learn how to differentiate depression from dementia to get the appropriate remedy for a better senior living. With the help of friends or relatives, you will be able to regain your memory, energy, and concentration in case you are suffering from depression. However, if your condition has gone overboard, then it is safer to seek help for a professional.   

 You might also like:

The Change of Five Senses with Senior People

Tips for Seniors to Deal with the Emotional Toll of Downsizing

Stress Management: Most Useful Techniques for Seniors

 

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