Depression affects people of all ages and does not care whether you are 18 or 80. However, many do not realize how many seniors struggle with depression. Unfortunately, signs of elderly depression are frequently attributed to other conditions. As a result, elderly depression goes undiagnosed.
If you believe a senior you know is suffering from depression, you can help. Here’s how:
Start a Conversation
First, get your loved one to open up. Avoid words like “depressed,” “anxious,” or “mental health” if possible. These trigger words might cause them to become upset and shut you out. Begin by starting a conversation. Ask about their day, whether anything has been on their mind, or if anything is making them sad. Hopefully, you will gather information that highlights a potential problem. From here, you can breach the subject of getting help.
Getting Professional Help
Most seniors do not seek treatment for their depression. It is your job to convince your loved one to find professional help. However, do not immediately suggest therapy, as many elderly individuals may feel shame or guilt about their depression.
It may be easiest for them to consult a friend who has been through a similar experience. Many elderly individuals may also feel more comfortable talking about their depression to their primary care physician rather than a mental health professional.
Call David York Agency for Help
Follow our blog for more advice on how you can help an elderly loved one cope with depression, as well as information about the signs that can indicate elderly depression. Keep this in mind; elderly depression is often a result of loneliness and isolation, so call us to arrange unparalleled care and companionship.
For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, please contact us at 718.376.7755. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.