Depression looks slightly different for everyone who faces it, but there are some common threads. You might notice some of these signs in your elderly family member and if you do, it’s worth investigating whether she’s experiencing depression.
She Might Be Sleeping More
Depression can rob your elderly family member of her energy. That can lead her to start sleeping more and more, until it seems as if she doesn’t get out of bed hardly at all. Sleep can become a way for your senior to avoid her feelings.
She Might Not Be Able to Sleep
The flip side of this is that your senior may not be able to sleep at all. This can cause her to stay up until all hours and fall asleep out of exhaustion. She may find that she sleeps during the day and has insomnia at night.
She Might Be Irritable or Angry
When your aging adult is depressed, she may not experience emotions in the same way that she does when she’s not depressed. She may seem to have a shorter temper and to be more irritable in general. She may seem to experience mood swings that don’t make sense to you or even to her.
She Might Not Be Taking Care of Herself
Because depression robs your senior of her energy and can leave her emotions rather raw, she may not be taking care of herself the best ways possible. She may not be eating healthy foods, showering regularly, or doing other things that she would normally do for herself. You might notice these changes gradually as the depression builds.
She Might Be Isolating Herself
It might not surprise you that if your senior has no energy, is having mood swings, and doesn’t feel like taking care of herself, she’s also not interested in spending time around other people. One way that you can solve the isolation problem is to hire elderly care providers. They can help her to gradually get back into a self-care routine while they also provide companionship for her.
Her Appetite Might Change
Part of self-care is eating healthy meals regularly, but your elderly family member may be telling you the truth when she says she’s not hungry. Often people who are depressed aren’t interested in food at all and might eat only enough to literally stay alive. Some people react to depression and stress by eating, though, so you might see your elderly family member unexpectedly gain weight.
If you’re seeing these types of symptoms in your aging family member, make sure that you talk with her and with her doctor about what you’re seeing. From there, your senior’s doctor can help you to find a solution that works for her.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Princeton, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.