Late life depression explained

by Paradise Living Center

late life depressionLate life depression is a very serious issue and is more common than you may think. Aging inevitably brings with it a lot of life changes. Losing a loved one, moving to a new home and physical and mental changes can all impact our emotional stability. These changes and others can contribute to late life depression. This condition can be difficult to detect, but if suspected, it should not be taken lightly and needs to be treated carefully. Left untreated, late life depression can mentally, physically and emotionally cripple a person. Thus, posing a serious threat to those who are already experiencing these changes.

In order to help aging loved ones, it is important to know what late life depression is, to be able to recognize the symptoms, and identify the best treatment options.

Causes of late life depression:

The causes of late life depression are unavoidable for most seniors, which is why so many seniors suffer. The causes of late life depression include:

  • Loneliness – loneliness can lead to depression when seniors cannot participate in once loved activities or are moved into an isolated room or facility thus taking away their sense of freedom or mobility.
  • Health conditions – the reality of deteriorating health and aging can cause depression amongst seniors. Diagnosis and symptoms of many health issues can alter their daily life significantly.
  • Grief – dealing with the death of a loved one especially a spouse can be extremely depressing for seniors and can lead to depression.

Symptoms include:

  • Sadness
  • Weight loss
  • Inability to sleep
  • Social withdrawal
  • Decreased self-esteem
  • Fatigue
  • Suicidal thoughts

Treatment for late life depression:

Fortunately, there are many treatment options for late life depression. If you suspect a loved one is showing signs of depression, schedule an appointment with a doctor. The doctor will be able to better evaluate the symptoms and prescribe necessary treatments or medications. Your loved one’s doctor might suggest anti-depression medication, lifestyle changes, or hiring a caregiver. Hiring a care giver is a potential treatment option to not only keep a watchful eye on the patient but to keep them company to battle feelings of loneliness. Adding activities can also be helpful to treating depression such as:

  • Exercise
  • Crafting
  • Therapy animals
  • Social events
  • Healthy diet
  • Music therapy

Late life depression can be life threatening if not properly diagnosed and treated. The key is early detection, diagnosis, and treatment.

At Paradise Living Centers, our resident’s comfort and well-being is one of our top priorities. For any additional questions about services and the care we provide, please visit our website or call us at (480)878-4112.