spotting senior depression in carmel, in

How to Spot Signs of Depression in Senior Care

Did you know that depression is actually a very common issue among seniors? There are both causes and symptoms of depression in the elderly that can affect all aspects of your loved one’s life and their senior care. This is why it’s important to be aware of the signs and red flags associated with depression, which can often go unnoticed. This happens for several reasons, like a reluctance to talk about feelings of sadness, or assuming that sadness is just a part of the aging process.

It is extremely helpful to learn about both the causes and symptoms of senior depression, especially if you’re in charge of your loved one’s senior care. Doing so can help you catch the onset of depression or preventing it altogether.

The Causes

Being aware of the major causes of senior depression, listed below, can help you stop it in its tracks.

  • Isolation and Loneliness: A decreasing social circle can be the result of living alone; this is also attributed to an inability to drive or decreased mobility.
  • Health Problems: This can be caused by chronic and severe pain; illnesses or disabilities; or cognitive decline.
  • Fears: A fear of death or dying; struggling with anxiety from health issues or financial distress.
  • Reduced Sense of Purpose: Sometimes retirement can be to blame for a loss of identity or purpose; a lack of engagement in previously enjoyed activities may be due to new physical limitations.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain conditions can directly cause depression in seniors. For example: Parkinson’s Disease, thyroid disorders, Cancer and Lupus.
  • Recent Bereavements: If your loved one has experienced a recent loss of friends, family members, pets, or a spouse or partner, this can be a major cause of depression.

The Symptoms

Even after learning about the above causes, it still a good idea to recognize the symptoms, listed below.

  • Poor sleeping habits
  • Slower speech and/or movements
  • The use of alcohol or other drugs (or increased use)
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Neglecting personal care
  • Sadness and despair; feelings of hopelessness; loss of self-worth
  • Loss of interest and activities; lack of motivation and energy
  • Weight loss and/or loss of appetite
  • Aches and pains that are unexplained

As you notice signs of prolonged sadness or depression in your senior loved one, it’s important to make changes to their care to help support their emotional wellbeing. Through the Balanced Care Method, Home Care Assistance aims to support both the emotional and physical health of older adults as they age. If you’re looking for support for an older family member, contact us today!

Signs your loved one may need senior care in Carmel, IN

Five Signs Your Loved One is Ready for In-Home Senior Care

Before you can begin to decide whether or not your loved one needs in-home senior care, it is helpful to first understand what just what it means and how it works. In-home senior care refers to care that is provided to seniors in their own home, for as long as possible before being placed in a facility. In-home services can be constant care – 24/7 – or it could even be select days and times each week depending on your senior’s needs.

As for the service types that come with in-home care, there is a wide variety to choose from based on your senior’s priority. Your loved one may need non-medical services (assistance with errands, cleaning, bathing cooking), socialization services (companionship), or even medical assistance. Knowing this, we still must ask ourselves: How do we know when our loved ones need in-home senior care?

Here are some of the telltale signs to look out for:

Worsening Health Conditions or Recent Accidents

If your loved one has had a recent medical scare or maybe even taken a fall, these could be signs in-home care is needed. The older your loved one gets, the higher the chances are of an accident happening again.

Not Leaving the House

Pay attention to how often (or not) your loved one leaves the house. If it has been several days at a time that they have not left the house, this could be due to a fear of driving themselves or using public transportation.

Forgetfulness

Have you noticed that your loved one seems to forget things lately? Maybe they forget to check or open the mail, or they forget where their home is after driving back from the grocery store. These are signs of memory loss and having someone to check in may be helpful.

Changes in Cleanliness and Organization

The next time you visit with your loved one, take a moment to notice two things: their appearance and their house. Do they seem clean? Are their clothes clean? Look around the house – Are things in order, or is their clutter and disorganization?

Energy Levels and Interests

Do you notice a change in your loved one’s energy level? If they have lower energy or are losing interest in activities they once enjoyed, these could be signs of the onset of depression. In-home socialization services could be beneficial.