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Elderly Depression and Senior Care Placement

Depression among the elderly is a very serious and common problem. Difficulties in life changes, the death of loved ones, and medical ailments can all contribute to depression. However, despite how frequently depression occurs, only a small percentage receive help. If left untreated, depression can lead to illness, alcoholism, drug abuse, and even suicide. It's important to look for warning signs of depression and always seek professional help. No one should ever have to face depression alone.

While a family history of depression may increase an elderly person's risk, the drastic life changes as one gets older can only put more stress on the individual. The main causes for elderly depression are isolation and loneliness. Perhaps a spouse has died or they have witnessed the digression of their circle of friends as they pass away. Decreased mobility means they might not be able to go to as many social events or visit loved ones. Loss of purpose may be concerning them since retirement. Health problems and medications may also lead to depression. Finally, there is fear -fear of dying, fear of medical issues, and fear of financial problems.

Signs of elderly depression are the same for depression of younger people. A few symptoms to be aware of include, fatigue, loss of appetite/weight loss, constant sadness, loss of interest in activities, social withdrawal, sleeping problems, obsession with death, and suicidal thoughts or attempts. Although sadness is usually a clear indicator, it is possible to be depressed without feeling sad. The elderly are more likely to feel physical symptoms, along with anxiety and irritability.

Medication and therapy are not the only treatments for elderly depression. Providing emotional support, along with contacting a senior care agency can both be beneficial. Senior care doesn't mean you have to place your loved one in a nursing home. Many provide companions and home attendants or helpers. These people can provide companionship by engaging them in activities, taking them to visit family and friends, running daily errands, and simply talking with them. It's understandable that you have your own life and cannot be there for them all the time. Let a home attendant be there when you cannot.

Besides considering senior care placement, there are several things you can do as well. Try to spend more time with them. A simple trip to the movies or a walk in the park can do a lot for a person. Schedule routine social activities so they can spend time with people their own age. They might refuse, but be insistent without being controlling. Provide them with healthy meals because a poor diet can make depression worse. If they are seeking treatment, make sure they follow through with it and take all the proper medications.

No matter the age, depression should never be ignored. As your loved ones begin to age, watch out for them and care for them. Senior care and other forms of professional help are out there for those in need.

About Author Mark Etinger :

<a href="" target="_blank"></a> is a senior and child care agency providing nannies, caretakers, executive assistants, and more to the New York area. If you're looking for household management or child care NY, you've come to the right place! Check out our blog at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Saturday, January 1, 2011
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