Senior depression is often thought of as just another side effect of aging. However, it is important for seniors and their caregivers in Columbus to understand that depression does not have to be inevitable. In fact, all cases of depression are treatable, and early treatment can reduce the impact that this common mental health condition can have on their quality of life.
When to Seek Treatment
Columbus senior care professionals note that it is normal for seniors to experience occasional, brief bouts of sadness in response to life changes such as losing a loved one. However, any symptoms of depression that last longer than two weeks should warrant a visit to their doctor. Some symptoms of depression that you might notice in a loved one include the following:
• Changes in sleeping habits
• Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
• Withdrawal from social activities
• Eating more or less during meals
• Complaints of aches and pains that do not respond to treatment
• Lack of interest in favorite activities
• Thoughts of death or suicide
Types of Treatment Available
Seniors today can benefit from a wide range of treatment options that can help improve their mood and reduce the symptoms of depression. Antidepressant medications are one option that can help seniors begin healing from their depression. Psychotherapy or counseling can also be beneficial. Many seniors improve significantly when these two types of treatment are combined. Daily exercise, dietary changes and frequent social interaction may also be recommended by a physician in addition to other treatments.
Reducing Risk Factors
Although depression is caused by changes in the brain that may not always be preventable, there are some things a family can do to reduce the risk of a senior developing depression. For example, seniors and their caregivers can make plans for expected life changes, such as retirement, that can generate symptoms of depression. Regular social contact can also reduce feelings of isolation while providing an opportunity for caregivers to check in with a senior so that potential cases of depression can be identified early.
Learn more about senior health and wellness from the experienced staff at Home Care Assistance. We are known for our Columbus Alzheimer’s care, but we also offer part-time and live-in care for seniors. In addition to helping seniors with everyday tasks, our caregivers can provide emotional support and companionship to help stave off feeling of loneliness, isolation, and depression. Give us a call today at (614) 481-8888 to learn more or schedule a free in-home consultation.