Elderly Depression In Seniors – How To Recognize And Stop Senior Depression

Author:

Glen Greenbaum

Depression can occur in people of all ages. It is quite common in people who are aging. If you have a loved one who is a senior citizen, there are some steps you can take to reduce his risk. You can help stop elderly depression in seniors, so he can have a healthier, happier life.

Learn How To Recognize Depression

People who are depressed experience a variety of symptoms. As each person is an individual, the number of symptoms he shows and the severity of the symptoms will vary.

Depression often affects a person\’s appetite. He may become very picky, eat much more than usual, or stop eating altogether. This can result in weight loss or weight gain.

His sleep patterns may change. He may begin sleeping considerably more than usual, or have trouble falling asleep at night.

A person who is depressed generally loses interest in life. He can feel helpless and hopeless. Your senior may stop doing the things he normally enjoys, and have a grim view of his future. He may start to place too much emphasis on death and dying.

Depression can result in personality changes. Whether he is normally sociable, quiet, or easy-going, you may notice a change in his personality.

Many seniors who are depressed experience physical symptoms. Headaches, stomach aches, constipation, and fatigue, can all be signs of depression. If he did not have these problems before, depression may be the cause.

How You Can Stop Elderly Depression In Seniors

Your senior\’s health must be a priority. First, many seniors show all the signs of depression, while the symptoms are actually caused by medical problems. You can begin by taking your senior to his doctor for a medical evaluation. If his physician finds a medical issue, he will recommend appropriate treatment.

Physical fitness is very important for elderly persons. Whether he was physically active when he was younger, or has always had a sedentary lifestyle, help him to incorporate some physical activity into his everyday life. Even a short exercise routine, when practiced daily, can have amazing results. If he is healthy enough to go outdoors, a daily walk is great for both his physical and mental health.

A balanced diet can go a long way in preventing depression. Many elderly persons simply do not get the nutrition they need on a daily basis. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies, as well as physical discomfort. From planning and preparing meals to keeping your senior company while he eats, you can ensure he is getting everything he needs for good health.

Make sure he is getting the proper amount of sleep. Both lack of sleep and too much sleep are unhealthy. You can encourage him to have a regular bedtime, and take a nap in the daytime.

A Senior Needs To Be Mentally And Emotionally Healthy

The person who is aging may need a little extra care to resist depression.

Companionship is essential when you want to stop elderly depression in seniors. Even if he is not extremely sociable, too much time alone can be harmful. Depending upon his particular preferences, other family members can play board games with him, or take him on outings where he can talk with others in his age group.

Older persons love to talk, even if they need to be encouraged to do so. As he has had many decades of living, he has plenty to share with someone who will listen. Talking about his life, jobs, hobbies, and childhood experiences allows him to feel important. He knows he matters when someone listens to him. When he is treated as a valuable human being with much to contribute, he feels good about himself.

Seniors can benefit from mental stimulation. This can range from reading a good book to doing word puzzles in the newspaper. When he is encouraged to think, his mind will be clear and healthy. It also improves his memory, and helps him to stay alert.

One concern seniors often have is losing the ability to do things for themselves. The less they can do, the more likely they are to become depressed. One way you can help is to encourage him to do as much as he reasonably can do by himself.

From basic grooming to small household chores, he will feel better if he does not have to rely on someone else. Begin by thinking about the things that need to be done in his daily life, and decide how much he can reasonably do for himself.

Consider The Causes And Treatments For Depression

When there are no underlying medical problems, depression in elderly persons can be caused by their everyday lives and concerns about the future. Lack of sufficient exercise, nutrition, and companionship can do much more than undermine his general health. These factors can also lead to depression.

In some instances, elderly persons will experience depression even when caregivers and relatives do everything possible to reduce the risk. Regardless of his age or health, depression is not something you can afford to overlook. If his outlook does not improve, you should not hesitate to seek outside help.

His physician is the best person to approach for help. After determining there are no medical reasons for his depression, the doctor can recommend the best course of action. If your loved one\’s doctor advises additional lifestyle changes, or recommends a medication, it is best to follow the doctor\’s advice.

In many instances, it is possible to stop elderly depression in seniors before it occurs. Regardless of a senior\’s physical condition, there are many ways in which he can truly enjoy his later years. Helping him to become motivated and healthier are keys to avoiding depression. When every day is as fulfilling and happy as it can possibly be, your loved one will be less likely to suffer from depression.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/mental-health-articles/elderly-depression-in-seniors-how-to-recognize-and-stop-senior-depression-5726637.html

About the Author

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