Depression is a serious mood disorder, it isn’t simply having an off day or feeling a little sad about something. Depression can affect the way your parent thinks, feels, and acts. While many elderly develop depression, it is not a normal part of aging, and should be addressed immediately to help them get back on a healthier track.
The symptoms of depression vary, but the important thing to watch for is your parent’s personality changing and the inability to enjoy activities before. If your parent looked forward to her senior home care provider coming over to play cards, but is no longer interested, she might have depression. Or if she no longer finds the delicious meals made by your senior home provider appetizing, depression could be the cause.
There are certain risk factors that make it more likely for your elderly parent to develop depression. As a caregiver, it’s important to know your parent’s medical history and life circumstances to help you help her when things get out of sync. For depression, there are treatments available, but understanding the causes and risk factors can help you navigate through the whys and hows.
Changes in the brain can affect mood and lead to depression for some people. Yet, others might experience depression after a major life event, like a scary medical diagnosis or the death of a loved one. If your parent is under a lot of stress, such as financial issues, or is unable to take care of herself anymore, it may cause depression. And there are many who become depressed for no clear reason.
These factors are related to the risk of depression, but do not necessarily cause depression:
- Addiction and/or alcoholism. Whether it’s been a lifelong addiction or a new addiction, addiction causes people to feel out of control, which can lead to depression.
- Medical conditions, such as stroke or cancer. It’s not only the seriousness of the disease, but also the limitations it puts on someone’s life and the fear of what is to come. Your senior home care provider can help by providing services to help your parent cope with tasks she is no longer able to do.
- Genetics. Depression often occurs in families. If your parent has close relatives with depression, she is more likely to develop it herself.
- Stress. It might be money, or it might be discord in the family. Stress can come in many levels, and what may not stress someone else may cause extreme stress for your parent.
- Sleep problems. Sleep is important for restoration and peace.
Social isolation and loneliness. For seniors, this is a common cause, as friend and family circles get smaller each year.
Having open and honest discussions with your parent and listening to her concerns is one of the best ways to determine if she needs professional help for her depression.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional Senior Home Care in Vestavia Hills, AL, call and talk to the staff at Lipford Home Care (205) 623-5700.
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