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What To Do If Your Senior Is Depressed

Home Care Assistance in Wendell NC
Home Care Assistance in Wendell NC

Feelings of loneliness or despair may be normal once in a while, especially during huge changes in a senior’s life, but if these feelings last longer than a few days, it may be a sign of depression. When your loved one chooses to age in place, it can be harder to decide whether or not they have depression without frequent visits. If you think they are suffering from this mental illness, it’s time to encourage them to talk to their doctor. This is also an opportunity to talk with them about hiring home care assistance to help them around the house. Support and companionship may ease some of the stress and burden they feel. So what can you do if your loved one is suffering from depression?

First Know The Signs

If you don’t know the signs of depression, it can be insulting to assume just anyone has depression. This is a mental illness, and it does impact so many people, especially seniors. However, if you are not sure what the signs are to look for and guess, it may bring up something that will make it harder for your seniors to trust your judgment in the future. Signs of depression often include persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyed activities, and physical symptoms like changes in appetite or sleep patterns. Seniors with depression may experience fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of death or suicide.

Approach The Topic Carefully

Again, if you are unsure whether or not your loved one could be depressed, it’s important not to assume anything. Have home care write down actual problems and start noticing patterns. When you have specific examples of why you think a senior loved one could be depressed, this is the best way to bring it up. Above all else, be gentle with your loved one. Mental health is fragile, and it is crucial that you don’t break their trust and they feel like they can turn to you. Remember, their doctor should also be one of the first people to know when behavior has changed, and they may be able to help manage mood swings and more.

Get Them Out

Your seniors may feel depressed because they can no longer do the things they used to. They may not plan events anymore or go out of the house like they used to. Invite your senior over if you are doing fun things with your kids. Home care assistance can drive your loved one around and help keep an eye on them during an activity. Ensuring your loved one feels included in the family is crucial. The small act of inviting them out can have a huge impact on their mental health.

Always Involve the Doctor

Once you’ve talked to your loved one about mental health, your senior needs to update their doctor. You can send them with a list of examples, and the doctor may have more questions to understand whether or not your loved one truly has depression. This could be an underlying symptom of something else or even a side effect of a specific medication, which is why it is so important to get a doctor on the same page as you and your senior loved one.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care assistance in Wendell, NC, please contact the caring staff at East Carolina Home Care today. Call (919) 462-7003.

Providing quality home care for seniors and families in and around Raleigh, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, Garner, New Hill, Wake Forest, Nightsdale, Wendell, White Oak, Rolesville and Cary, North Carolina.

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