Depression is a common problem that many people face as they age. This may occur as a result of a loss of social support, death of a spouse or loved one, changes in their health, or relocation of residence. It’s important to recognize the symptoms in you or a loved one, and take proactive measures to ensure that your mental health remains a priority.
Continue reading to see how you can prevent depression in the elderly:
Depression in the Elderly
Often times, depression in older adults is harder to identify because they tend to show different symptoms than younger people. Depression is more common in people who have illnesses that prohibit their functioning, such as heart disease or cancer. Sometimes medications can cause side effects that can contribute to these feelings, as well. Depression can affect all aspects of your life including your appetite, energy levels, sleep, interests, and relationships.
The symptoms of depression in the elderly include, but are not limited to:
- Sadness or feelings of despair
- Unexplained or aggravated aches and pains
- Loss of interest in socializing or hobbies
- Weight loss or loss of appetite
- Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
- Lack of motivation and energy
- Sleep disturbances
- Loss of self-worth
- Slowed movement or speech
- Increased use of alcohol or other drugs
- Fixation on death or thoughts of suicide
- Memory problems
- Neglecting personal care
Ways to Prevent It
Not only is exercising good for the body, but it’s also an effective way to combat depression, anxiety, and stress. Exercising promotes all kinds of changes in the brain, including neural growth, reduced inflammation, and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being. As we age, we tend to slow down and become more sedentary as a result of health problems, weight or pain issues, or fear of falling. Find a physical activity that you enjoy doing. Doing this can help boost your energy, maintain your independence, protect your heart, and manage symptoms of illness or pain as well as your weight.
Social isolation is a growing concern in older people and in turn, this affects their mental and physical health and increases their risk for mortality. One in five elderly adults is isolated from family and friends. Staying socially active as you age is important so that your brain is constantly being stimulated and engaged in activity while reducing your chances of cognitive decline. Not only does it provide you with an opportunity to get out and interact with people, but it can boost your immune system, reduce physical pain, and lower your blood pressure.
Park Street Senior Living uses a “hands-on” approach to supporting community operations. It was established to assist with the development and day-to-day operations of senior living communities. To find out more information on what we do, visit our website!