Feeling sad now and again is a normal part of any stage of life and can be particularly common as we age – but sometimes, sadness can turn into something more. The connection between seniors and depression is something that should be taken seriously, especially for those who may be socially isolated, experiencing health issues or dealing with age-related stress.
The good news? Depression can be treated when you are able to identify it. Learn more about how to recognize the symptoms of depression and some tips for helping to manage it.
Recognizing Signs of Depression
Being able to identify signs of depression can be more challenging in seniors than in younger adults because of the way they present themselves – feeling “down” isn’t necessarily the only indicator, especially when combined with other factors like lack of motivation, changes in sleep pattern or even unexplained body pains.
The following are common depression symptoms in seniors:
- Consistent sadness or anxiety
- Irritability or restlessness
- Difficulty sleeping (or alternatively, oversleeping)
- Feelings of guilt, hopelessness or worthlessness
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Unplanned weight loss or weight gain
- Moving more slowly
- Loss of interest
Consider how you’re feeling. Do you find yourself fatigued or uninterested in things you usually love? Are you overwhelmed at the thought of socializing? Have your sleeping patterns changed, either sleeping too much or too little? Forgetting appointments or other commitments? If you’ve been having any of these feelings for more than a couple of weeks, it may be best to schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss.
Tips For Managing Depression in Seniors
There are ways to manage symptoms of depression – though it can’t necessarily be prevented, certain lifestyle changes can improve mental health significantly. Some tips include:
- Eating a nutritious, wholesome diet
- Cutting back on unhealthy habits, like smoking or drinking
- Maintaining a consistent sleeping schedule
- Prioritize socializing and connecting with others, whether it’s staying in touch with old friends or making new ones
- Join a community program or educational class
- Incorporate a range of exercise into your daily routine
If your symptoms are increasing in severity or just won’t seem to go away, be sure to reach out to a healthcare professional to talk about your options.
Cumberland Crossing by OceanView
At Cumberland Crossing by OceanView, we understand how important fulfillment and staying active are when it comes to the connection between seniors and depression. Our senior living community in beautiful Cumberland, Maine is truly retirement living for the 21st century! We offer customizable cottage plans with a fully refundable entrance fee and 24/7 maintenance available, so you can simply focus on enjoying your retirement years to the fullest and experience enrichment in all areas of life.
To learn more about our community at Cumberland Crossing, contact us today!