It’s National Mental Health Awareness Month. May is a good time to stop and learn something new. There’s a stigma that mental illness is something to keep quiet or be ashamed of. It’s time to push aside the stigmas and understand that mental illness can affect anyone at any time. Your own parent could be suffering from depression, a common form of mental illness that affects many elderly men and women.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, of those who are 65 or older, almost 7 million suffer from depression. It may not be new to them, but some find themselves depressed for the first time in their lives.
What Are the Signs of Depression in Seniors?
Depression commonly causes a person to lose interest in things that they loved. They no longer want to go out with friends. They’re disinterested in activities with family members. Depression can lead to appetite changes that bring about weight loss or weight gain.
Some people who deal with depression will find they cannot sleep. They deal with mood swings and are often irritable. Sadness can set in.
Senior citizens who are suffering from depression can also experience issues with memory. They can become confused and start to hallucinate or become delusional. Your parent may become excessively demanding or ask for assistance on almost everything they do. You may also find their movements slow down and can almost seem lethargic.
Why Are Seniors at Risk?
Half of all senior citizens have at least one chronic condition. If a parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, cancer, or a heart condition, it can lead to feelings of helplessness. Depression is common.
Grief is a normal reaction to the death of a close friend or family member. Over time, that grief may lead to a depression. Depression will go on for months and requires treatment. Left untreated, depression can affect your parent’s health.
Treatments for Depression
Counseling can help treat depression. There are also several medications that help. Your parent may be given a prescription for antidepressants. While the body is acclimating to the new medication, your parent may need rides to appointments, stores, and social events. Caregivers can help with that.
Senior care professionals offer a full range of services to help seniors with daily living. From meal preparation to changing bedding, caregivers are there to assist. To learn more about these and other services, call a senior care agency near you.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare in Lake Zurich IL, please contact the caring staff at Inspired Care Home Health today. Call and talk to our friendly caring staff at 847-787-7572.