Depression can strike anyone at anytime. The elderly can be victims of this dreary disease. There are several factors that can cause depression in the elderly. Here is a list of a few of those factors:
* Loneliness and isolation – Living alone; a dwindling social circle due to deaths or relocation; decreased mobility due to illness or loss of driving privileges.
* Reduced sense of purpose – Feelings of purposelessness or loss of identity due to retirement or physical limitations on activities.
* Health problems – Illness and disability; chronic or severe pain; cognitive decline; damage to body image due to surgery or disease.
* Medications – Many prescription medications can trigger or exacerbate depression.
* Fears – Fear of death or dying; anxiety over financial problems or health issues.
* Recent bereavement – The death of friends, family members, and pets; the loss of a spouse or partner.
In order to recognize depression “red flags”, you need to know the signs and symptoms. If you recognize any of the symptoms below, talk with your loved one about seeing a doctor. Some symptoms are:
- Abandoning or losing interest in hobbies or other pleasurable pastimes
- Social withdrawal and isolation (reluctance to be with friends, engage in activities, or leave home)
- Weight loss; loss of appetite
- Sleep disturbances (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, oversleeping, or daytime sleepiness)
- Loss of self-worth (worries about being a burden, feelings of worthlessness, self-loathing)
- Increased use of alcohol or other drugs
- Fixation on death; suicidal thoughts or attempts
Here at our Kitsap Peninsula Home Instead Office we can send a professionally trained CAREGiver to your place of residency to assist with your non-medical needs. Please contact us at 360-782-4663.