Everyone has occasional feelings of sadness, but do not confuse these feelings with the symptoms of depression. Someone who has clinical depression is suffering from a mood disorder that reduces their motivation to perform necessary daily activities, such as sleeping, exercising, eating, bathing, and working. Only a doctor can diagnose someone with having clinical depression.
Seniors and older adults tend to suffer from clinical depression the most. Old age is not the primary reason for their depression, though. It has more to do with their lifestyle and experiences at this point in their lives. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has declared depression amongst older adults to be a severe public health concern.
Why do seniors develop clinical depression? Well, many of them have lost their spouses or partners and have no one in their lives. They might have adult children living somewhere else, but they don’t get to see them too often. Seniors are usually left feeling alone and isolated.
It is even worse when seniors have to live with debilitating physical or mental health conditions. These kinds of conditions will limit the freedom and independence they once had. Now they’re forced to have someone else take care of their basic needs and make critical decisions for them.
Wouldn’t you feel depressed if you could no longer live a normal lifestyle? Seniors with clinical depression have constant feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, sadness and dependence on other people. These feelings get so bad that seniors won’t even want to get out of bed in the morning.
In some cases, a senior’s depression could be the side effect of a specific medication they take to treat a particular illness. A biological or genetic reason could be the reason for depression too. If you have these concerns for your loved one, refer them to a trained mental health professional who can examine their problem and offer a valid diagnosis.
Symptoms and Risk Factors
How will you know if your loved one suffers from clinical depression? Unless a doctor has already diagnosed them with clinical depression, you will need to look for the signs of depression in them. Sadness and oversleeping are some of the symptoms, but they are not even the worst symptoms.
Seniors with depression will have trouble concentrating and remembering things. You’ll know these symptoms are not associated with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia because they’ll also feel cramps, pains, and headaches too. Additional symptoms could include fatigue, mood changes, suicide attempts, overeating, undereating, excessive pessimism, and digestive problems.
If seniors with depression do not receive counselling and treatment after a certain period, they could develop much worse health conditions. Some might include Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Assisted Living Facilities
Family members do not have the training or expertise to treat a senior loved one suffering from depression. Since the condition can limit the senior’s ability to care for themselves, it is best to put them in an assisted living facility.
An assisted living facility is a residential housing community where residents can receive long-term care services. Meanwhile, they will participate in normal daily activities and make new friends with other people in the community. It is truly the best environment for a senior with depression because it keeps them active, engaged and enthusiastic about life again.
Assisted living facilities are friendlier environments and more affordable than nursing homes. If you need assistance in finding a suitable assisted living facility for your loved one in South Florida, you should contact Health Care of South Florida. We have partnered with the very best assisted living facilities in the region.
Once your senior loved one is in an assisted living facility, we’ll do everything possible to make them feel happy and independent again. Our trained staff of nurses and aide workers will manage their medication and coordinate their daily activities. The senior won’t need to worry about anything!
Are you interested in learning more about assisted living facilities in South Florida? Give our office a call at (305) 871-3601, or contact us here.