Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and lack of interest.  According to research, depression in the elderly is often associated with an increased risk of cardiac diseases and an increased risk of death from illness— in some cases it can result in suicide.  Some of the causes of depression are (a) death or loss of a loved one; (b) abuse; (c) genetics; (d) medicine; and (e) social isolation. Below are some of the signs of depression:

Emotions

  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Guilt
  • Moodiness
  • Angry Outbursts
  • Loss of interest in friends, family and favorite activities

Thoughts

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Trouble remembering
  • Thoughts of harming yourself
  • Delusions and/or hallucinations can also occur in cases of severe depression

Behaviors

  • Withdrawing from people
  • Substance abuse
  • Missing work, school or other commitments
  • Attempts to harm yourself

Physical Problems

  • Tiredness or lack of energy
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Weight gain
  • Changes in sleep – sleeping too little or too much
  • Sexual problems

How you can help your loved one with Depression

  1. Allow MediCrest Home Care to provide an experienced, compassionate caregiver to provide Companion / Sitter or Personal Care Aide service that would give your loved one the assistance and/or companionship they need to remain happy and independent.

(a)   Depression in the elderly can oftentimes be confused with the effects of the medicines they take, so if you believe your loved one is suffering from depression, contact his/her doctor and encourage him/her to be as forthcoming as possible;

(b)   Visit your loved one as often as possible ….if you live a distance away, arrange to have a friend or neighbor stop by for visits; and

(c)    If your loved one is a pet lover, encourage him/her to adopt a pet;. a pet offers unconditional love and can bring tremendous comfort and companionship.

Using Technology to connect with your loved ones with Depression

Like they say, “let your fingers do the walking” and call your loved ones often.  A conversation or the sound of your voice can mean the world to someone who is socially isolated.  Additionally, many seniors are up-to-date on current social technology and are able to connect by using Face Time, Appear and Skype to have face-to-face conversations.

In closing, love is the most important ingredient in a relationship, so show your loved one that you care and that can make a tremendous difference in their lives!!