How Common is Depression in Seniors? What Can We Do?

Depression is an issue that afflicts a wide variety of people regardless of their health, age, or history. Although it can affect people of all ages, over 1 in 5 seniors will be affected with depression at some point. Despite what some pessimists may believe, while depression is common in senior populations, it is certainly not inevitable. Unlike younger populations, seniors with depression risk heart attacks and raised chances of fatality from other health problems. Women typically show sudden weight loss or weight gain, feelings of guilt, loss of self-worth, and frequent crying. Depression in women typically makes them more reticent, isolated, and gloomy. Comparatively, depression in men typically manifests itself through aggression, violence, and irritation. Men tend to be more volatile than women when dealing with depression.

Consequently, when the seniors in your life begin to exhibit signs of depression, it is important to provide them with the care and attention they need, and with swift recognition and the attentive care of a caregiver, seniors can be on their way to triumphing over depression.

Symptoms of Depression in Elders

Just like in individuals of all ages, the symptoms can vary from person to person. However, below are some common signs.

  • A family history of depression
  • Self-imposed isolation
  • Disinterest in hobbies or other past times
  • Tiredness, insomnia
  • Lowered self-esteem and self-worth
  • Signs of substance or alcohol abuse
  • Inability to function in daily tasks
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Repeated crying

Treating Depression in Elders

However, there is hope for seniors. Besides medication and therapy options, some ways to help alleviate depression are:

  • Regular low-impact exercise
  • A social network
  • Sleeping well
  • Eating well

At Baywood we make sure that with 24-hour home care, Minneapolis families can rest assured that their loved ones—even those suffering from depression—can get the care and attention they need to rise above depression and live comfortably and happily at home.