The aging process can often bring dramatic changes to a person’s life.
Retirement, declining physical health, the development of diseases, and the deaths of friends or spouses are just some of the events that can cause strife in a senior's life.
The psychological response to these changes is often monumental.
Caregiving can be become challenging and confusing, especially for children who don’t understand the issues that their parents are facing.
Are you worried about your aging parent falling into a senior depression? Is he or she already exhibiting signs of depression?
There are a few key things that can signal depression:
1. Abandoning Formerly Loved Hobbies
If your parent has showed waning interest in their best-loved hobbies and interests, they might be experiencing depression.
Because depression prevents or diminishes a person’s ability to experience pleasure, a depressed person will often stop attending clubs or groups they once loved.
If you notice your parent no longer sewing, gardening, going for walks, reading or taking part in hobbies they once loved, it might be time to ask the tough questions and start looking for help.
2. Constant Fatigue
If your parent was once vivacious and full of energy, but has suddenly become lethargic, depression might be the culprit.
Depression and chronic fatigue often go hand in hand, with fatigue often causing headaches, body aches, tender muscles and general discomfort.
3. Social Isolation and Lost Friendships
Another way that depression negatively impacts your aging loved one’s life is through altering their interest in social interactions and relationships.
Depression can snuff out a senior’s motivation or interest in calling old friends, planning social engagements or attending clubs or groups where social interaction is required. They might avoid going out to dinner or meeting up with friends at the usual times.
If you’ve noticed your parent has lost touch with friends or that they show little interest in maintaining relationships, they might be suffering from depression.
4. Weight Loss and Appetite Issues
If you’ve noticed serious changes to your parent’s appetite, depression might be the cause.
According to Dr. Gary Kennedy, Director of Geriatric Psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, appetite changes can signal loss of interest and lack of pleasure in food.
Seniors, Kennedy says, are especially susceptible:
“This may be especially true for older people with depression, who may lose interest in cooking and don’t have the energy to prepare meals. For others, nausea may be symptom of their depression and a cause for loss of appetite.”
The anxiety and stress associated with depression often cause changes to sleep patterns.
If you’ve noticed your parent complaining of sleeplessness or looking extra tired for a substantial period of time, depression-related insomnia may be the cause.
Recent studies have shown that 80% of people with depression have issues falling asleep or staying asleep. For seniors, sleep is vital to healing and maintaining health. It’s important to resolve this issue before it begins impacting their overall health even further.
At Bluebird, we know how scary the issues of aging can become.
For many seniors, isolation, lack of independence and lack of daily support are constant stressors. These issues are often the source depression and lack of energy, as well.
Bluebird is dedicated to supporting and helping seniors live their best lives, through personal and daily caregiving services that allow them to get their independence back.
From transportation services to meal preparation and everything in between, a Bluebird caregiver can make your aging loved one’s life better. We will also provide you with peace of mind in knowing that they have the support and attention they deserve.
Contact Bluebird today to learn more about our services. We would love to help you and your loved one enjoy a better quality of life.