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Understanding Depression in Seniors

Man experiencing depression in seniors

Mental health is an integral part of living a healthy and fulfilling life. As people age, their physical health can be affected by their frailty, and their mental health can become increasingly fragile—making it easier for seniors to develop depression. It is essential to recognize the signs of depression in seniors so their loved ones can get them the help they need. Call 214.225.6197 to speak with someone from Ventana’s caring and compassionate staff about the importance of mental health and our healthcare services for seniors.

What Is the Importance of Mental Health for Seniors?

Mental health is just as important as physical health, especially for seniors. Good mental health helps seniors stay:

  • Better connected with those around them
  • Engaged with their community
  • Socially active

It also helps them manage stress, enjoy leisure activities, cope with physical ailments, and maintain overall excellent well-being.

What Are the Signs of Depression in Seniors?

It’s not always easy to recognize when someone is struggling with depression. Common signs among seniors include:

  • Changes in appetite or weight changes without trying
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
  • Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
  • Irritability or anger outbursts
  • Loss of energy or interest in activities that were once enjoyed

Depression is a severe mental disorder characterized by sadness or a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed. When these feelings persist over time or interfere with daily life, it could signify clinical depression—otherwise known as major depressive disorder (MDD)—requiring medical attention from a professional.

How to Help Seniors Struggling with Depression

You can adjust a senior loved one’s lifestyle and schedule at home to help them feel better. Adjustments you can make include the following:

  • Encouraging them to talk about their feelings
  • Ensuring adequate exercise
  • Making sure they get plenty of restful sleep each night
  • Helping them find new ways to stay socially active
  • Providing nutritious meals throughout the day
  • Providing support if they’re dealing with chronic pain
  • Spending quality time together doing enjoyable activities
  • Teaching them relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation

However, the best way to support your senior loved one struggling with depression is to help them seek professional help from a licensed mental health provider specializing in treating older adults.

Benefits of Seeking Professional Help for Depression in Seniors

There are many benefits to getting professional help when dealing with depression, including the following:

  • Being able to build relationships with peers who understand what they’re going through
  • Having access to counseling services that can provide emotional support during difficult times
  • Having access to specialized treatment plans tailored specifically for older adults
  • Gaining insight into how lifestyle changes may improve overall well-being
  • Learning more about medications that may reduce symptoms associated with depression
  • Receiving guidance on managing stressors that can trigger depressive episodes

However, the primary benefit of seeking professional help—particularly if it involves moving your senior loved one to an assisted living community—is having someone available 24 hours per day if needed during emergencies or crises. This particular advantage of senior living communities brings relief and security to not only the member of these communities but also their families and friends.

Find Help for Depression in Seniors at Ventana

The importance of mental health cannot be overstated, which makes it essential to understand depression in seniors. Recognizing the signs early on allows us to get our senior loved ones the help they need before it’s too late. At Ventana, we understand this importance which is why we offer specialized mental health services tailored specifically for older adults. Contact Ventana today at 214.225.6197 to learn more about our senior living community in Dallas, Texas.