Depression can happen to anyone, but some seniors are more susceptible than others. Unfortunately, it comes in many forms. If we are waiting until a parent or loved one tells us that they are depressed, it may never happen. Some forms don’t even have mood symptoms that we typically associate with depression. However, depression is dangerous if left untreated, leading to lower quality of life and possible suicide. So, what is the best way to determine if a senior is depressed?
According to research done by the University of Missouri, there are a number of clues that can let us know that an elderly person is depressed besides mood. The first is verbal aggression. Someone who suddenly becomes verbally aggressive has a nearly 70% chance of being diagnosed with depression as opposed to someone who hasn't had that symptom.
Another indicator is changes in care needs. If the senior suddenly requires more help with activities of daily living, such as getting dressed or feeding, it may indicate that they are becoming depressed. Other indicators of depression are weight loss, urinary incontinence, increased pain, and reduced cognitive ability.
If a senior does appear to be depressed, getting a prompt diagnosis is very important. If it is swiftly diagnosed and treated, quality of life can greatly improve. The caregivers at Freedom Home Care go above and beyond to insure our seniors have to best quality of life we can offer them.