The CDC reports that 8 out of 10 seniors have one chronic condition. Knowing this, the government agency also reports that depression is more common in seniors who have limited function due to their illness. According to the report, it’s estimated that 13.5 percent of seniors in need of senior care suffer from depression. Perhaps more frightening, 18 percent of all suicides are committed by the elderly. What can you do to make sure your dad is okay?
Understand the Signs of Depression
Someone who is depressed may withdraw from friends and family. Depressed people prefer to be alone and lose interest in favorite hobbies or activities. Has your dad stopped taking walks, spending time in his garden, or reading books? These are all signs that something has changed.
A person who is depressed may stop making an effort to get showered, dressed, and other aspects of grooming. Diet is often affected. Is your dad overeating? Does he focus on sugary cakes and cookies and skip the meal you put in front of him? You might also notice that your dad stops taking medications. Neglect towards his health can be an indicator of depression.
Someone dealing with depression may sleep a lot or suffer from insomnia. That person may say he or she feels worthless or has no value. It can be hard for someone who is depressed to concentrate on a task or participate in making a decision. If your dad says you’d be better off without him or mentions changing his will, it could be depression.
Headaches, stomach pains, and other aches and pains may appear. Often, these complaints do not improve with medical treatment. If a doctor finds nothing wrong, it’s time to look at depression as a cause.
Talk to a Doctor
If you suspect your dad is depressed, talk to his doctor. Medications may help Your dad’s doctor can also recommend therapists, group meetings, and exercise programs that can help. If your dad’s doctor is not convinced, get a second opinion.
Keep Your Parent Active
Depression may set in if your parent feels isolated or lonely. Prevent this by making sure your dad has plenty of opportunities to socialize with friends. A senior center, adult day care, or church all offer opportunities to socialize. Gather the family on weekends for a group meal. Your dad has everyone together for a relaxed meal.
Can’t get your parent out during the week? Don’t save it for the weekend. Hire caregivers from a senior care agency to be there during the week. A caregiver can drive your dad to area businesses and organizations. Plus, your dad gains a friend at home.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Glenview, IL, please call the caring staff at A-Abiding Care today. Serving North and Northwest Chicago and the surrounding area for over 30 years. Call 847-698-1400.