Has your patient lost interest in favourite activities? Are they suddenly irritable? Are there persistent complaints of pain? If you answered yes to any of these questions, your elderly patient might be experiencing depression.

It is fairly common for the elderly to struggle with depression but they can be reluctant to talk about these feeling. So it's important for caregivers to keep an eye out for signs and symptoms.

Typical indications of depression in the elderly can include:

 

●       Memory difficulties

●       Vague complaints of pain

●       Insomnia

●       Irritability

●       Withdrawal from group activities

●       Excessive weight loss due to loss of appetite

●       Confusion

If you notice any of these signs in your patient, speak to their healthcare professional about the likelihood they might be depressed as well as treatment options.

All the changes that accompany ageing, can trigger periods of depression in seniors. One of the major reasons for depression is health decline - especially chronic pain or physical disability. Elderly people also risk depression if they live alone since they can experience a loss in purpose and feelings of isolation. Even more so if they've had a full life with children, work and other responsibilities. When all that is taken away, the senior years can become relatively quiet and lonely. It's best to help your elderly patient stay busy with engaging activities and to give them some kind of purpose.

Naturally, feelings of loss can also bring about depression. When your patient has lost a spouse, friend or even a pet, they might be at risk for depression. As a caregiver, you should keep a close eye on them for signs and symptoms of depression and contact their healthcare provider should you have any concerns. They will be able to properly diagnose depression and provide suitable treatment options.

If you have an elderly parent or loved one that needs special care, get in touch with Care Champs and allow them to lend you a hand.