Depression is often overlooked in senior citizens. While rates of clinical depression are low for the elderly at 8 to 16 percent, mild depression affects up to 50 percent of older men and women. Do you know the common symptoms of depression in the elderly?
#1 – Appetite Changes
Your dad is eating more than usual. Someone providing elderly care cooks his meals, but he picks at the items on his plate and doesn’t eat anything. Either can be a sign of depression. Watch for weight gain or loss as they can also be symptoms of certain illnesses, so it’s best to talk to a doctor.
#2 – Difficulty Sleeping Through the Night
Your dad struggles to fall asleep and stay asleep. He’s up wandering at 2 a.m. even though he feels tired. He just can’t sleep. That can be depression affecting him. It can also be a sign of dementia.
#3 – Extreme Unexplained Anger
Your dad was happily watching TV and suddenly flies into a rage. He’s yelling at everyone nearby. Depression can present itself as extreme anger.
#4 – Forgetfulness
When an elderly parent becomes forgetful, it can be dementia or simply age-related forgetfulness. It can also be an indicator of depression.
#5 – Headaches
Headaches that appear suddenly and intensely can be a warning sign of a stroke. Headaches can also be a sign of stress, anxiety, or depression.
#6 – Increase in Anxiety and Agitation
Your dad is more anxious or agitated than you’ve ever seen him. You might be able to pinpoint why he is more anxious. If you can’t, it could be depression.
#7 – Unending Feelings of Sadness
Sadness every now and then is fine. It’s okay to have days when you don’t feel chipper or like your usual bubbly self. When the sadness goes on for months and months, it’s not always okay. Depression can be to blame.
#8 – Unexplained Pain
Your dad is in pain, but he doesn’t understand why. Unexplained pain is a symptom of depression. It can also be linked to muscle strain, tumors, and infections. A doctor will be able to tell if there is a urinary tract infection, tumor, or other cause for the pain. If nothing is found, it can be depression to blame.
With any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out other health issues. If he is suffering from depression, counseling may be the recommended treatment. Make sure your dad has a ride to his appointments. Adding companionship to his lifestyle can also help. An elderly care agency can get you started.
If you or an aging loved one is considering Elderly Care in Roseville, CA, or the surrounding areas please contact the caring staff at ApexCare®. Proudly Serving Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, Solano, San Joaquin & Stanislaus counties. Call Today 877-916-9111