Depression in Seniors is a very serious mood disorder.  Feeling sad occasionally is unfortunately a normal part of life, especially as you or your loved one is going through a big life change.  However, if these symptoms persist for more than a few weeks, you may be experiencing depression.  This is a very serious situation and it’s important to recognize the following signs and symptoms in yourself or your loved ones quickly and seek help right away.  

1. Persistent feelings of sadness or emptiness

Consistently feeling sad for weeks at a time is one of the most easily recognizable symptoms of depression in Seniors.  It is normal to feel sad when going through a big life transition, such as retirement or moving into a Senior Community.  However, if these feelings persist for long periods of time, you may have depression.  

2. No longer enjoying activities you once loved

In addition to feeling sad, another symptom of depression in Seniors is no longer enjoying activities you once loved.  This includes no longer wanting to socialize with friends or family members or participate in hobbies you used to enjoy.  

3. Unplanned weight gain or weight loss

Significant weight fluctuations are another sign of depression in Seniors.  This may include loss of appetite in general or eating more than usual.  

4. Changes in sleep patterns

While spending the day in bed may sometimes sound appealing, people struggling with depression often lack the motivation to get out of bed and want to sleep all day long.  On the other end of the spectrum, not being able to sleep or waking frequently in the night is another symptom of depression in Seniors.

5. Thoughts of suicide

Thoughts of suicide is of course the most serious sign of depression for all ages.  If you or your loved one is experiencing thoughts of suicide, get help immediately.   There is no shame in experiencing depression at any stage of life and it’s important to seek help right away.  Rely on friends and family members, in addition to your doctor, to help you through this difficult time.  There are a few different ways to treat depression, such as:  
  • Medication – There is a variety of available antidepressant medications. Your doctor will help you decide if this is the right choice for you.
  • Therapy – Counseling or “talk therapy” is a great way to treat depression by dealing with the root cause and learning tools to help you cope going forward.
  As you’re going through big life changes, below are a few quick tips to keep your serotonin levels high and prevent depression:  
  • Exercise – Studies show regular exercise may be just as effective as antidepressants when it comes to treating depression.
  • Stay Connected – Nurturing current relationships and building new relationships is a great way to boost your mood!  When choosing a Community to live in after retirement, be sure to choose a place where you will feel welcome, have fun, and make new friends.  The consultants at Bridge to Better Living are highly knowledgeable about all Senior Living Communities in the Northern Kentucky area and will help you find the perfect Community based on your interests.
  If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of depression, seek help immediately.  Make an appointment with your doctor and reach out to a trusted friend for support during this difficult time.  It’s important to remember, with the proper treatment and support, these feelings won’t last forever.